POLICE and lifeguards were called to South Parade Pier after a man climbed over the railings and threatened to jump into the sea last night.
Officers managed to talk the man down after a 90-minute stand-off which began at 6.30pm.
People enjoying a stroll along Southsea seafront looked on as a lifeboat bobbed in the water below the man, who was standing on the wrong side of the railings.
The white man, aged in his mid-30s and wearing a blue sweater and jeans, said he wanted to jump into the water 15ft below.
Police cleared an area of the pier and persuaded him to climb back to safety at 8pm.
He was then led to a waiting ambulance and taken away for medical assessment.
Acting Inspector Jon Noble said: ‘He was clearly distressed and from the position he got himself into the concern we had was he would fall in to the water.
‘We dealt with him for an hour and a half and as a result of that we managed to get him back over the railings.
‘He is cold and tired but he’s safe. He needs to be warmed up and seen by a doctor.’
One ambulance, four police vehicles and Portsmouth Lifeguards attended the scene, along with a lifeboat from Solent Coastguard which was circling waiting to pick the man up if he did fall.
A lifeguard said: ‘The concern was that it is quite rocky below where he was, if he did go in. I’m glad he’s back on the right side now and with the police.’
Insp Noble said he did not yet know why the man had climbed over the pier railings.
He said: ‘We don’t know an awful lot about him at this stage.
‘We’re happy that we’ve had a successful end to what we set out to do.’