A 2004 black Bentley Arnage sank into Lake Montauk on Wednesday afternoon after it rolled down the boat launching ramp at the Montauk Yacht Club marina.
The owner, Paul Marzario of New York City, had stopped the car at the top of the ramp to wash it with the dock hose, according to an East Hampton Marine Patrol officer who was at the scene.
“Somehow it rolled into the water. He tried to stop it but the door was closed, and down it went, and then it sunk,” said Ed Michels, the East Hampton Town harbormaster.
A crew from B&B Auto Service arrived and swam on boogie boards to the car, which was submerged about 150 feet from the ramp, according to Bob Bowman, the company’s owner. It took workers several hours to get the car out, according to Marine Patrol.
Mr. Bowman said that the car was running when it went into the water and that something had likely gone wrong with the linkage in the transmission.
“It wasn’t stupidity, it was a mechanical problem,” Mr. Bowman said. Once his crew pulled the car out of the water, they could not lock it into park, which indicated that something was wrong with the transmission, he said.
The car, worth approximately $200,000, was a total loss, Mr. Bowman said. Mr. Marzario “was a little upset but then finally figured out it was just a car,” a Marine Patrol officer said.
Mr. Bowman said his crew, all swimmers, often pull cars out of the ocean.
“We’re familiar with pulling them out of the surf,” he said. “This was unusual because it was calm water.”