On a drive down an infamiliar road earlier today, I hit what I thought was a "puddle" and it turned out to be a small lake. The water was maybe 2-3 feet deep. I hit it going 40 mph, and my momentum carried me through. My license plate was all warped and bent up, but that was easily fixed. The rest of the fenders and body was fine. When I examined the engine, the belts were dry and everything seemed fine, and the car drove just fine too.
The area this puddle was located is right next to a marsh, so when I turned the corner, I stopped and examined the tide, which was low. I don't think the salinty of the water was very high but I really don't know, it could have been left over from the marsh being flooded during the high tide and heavy rain earlier in the day.
Could deep water damage the engine if you plowed through it like this? Should I be considered about possible salt water damage? (the marsh is brackish and it's been raining for hours, I don't think the salinty of the water would have been high, but I don't know if even a small amount could be serious.) Comments appreciated, thanks.