LIFEBOAT crews have said a woman could have drowned had it not been for the quick actions of emergency services last night.
The woman was spotted swimming in the rough sea off the coast of Southsea, near Mozzarella Joes, in Clarence Esplanade, shortly before 11pm.
Off-duty RNLI lifeboat volunteers, who happened to be watching British electronic dance act The Prodigy close Victorious Festival, noticed a commotion by the seafront.
Rushing from the festival ground, the team spotted the woman in the water – with a number of other festival-goers already calling emergency services.
Within minutes, police, a fire crew from Southsea, an RNLI lifeboat team from Portsmouth and coastguard ground vehicle crew had been scrambled.
The team from Southsea used their ladder to reach the beach to allow rescuers to pull the woman back up to safety, before the RNLI lifeboat arrived at the scene.
It’s understood the woman was not seriously hurt. However, Portsmouth RNLI has since warned the situation could have been very different.
Aaron Gent, spokesman for the charity, said: ‘She was very lucky to have been rescued.
‘The conditions down there were horrific yesterday. She could have easily drifted out into the Solent and with all the lights and noise from The Prodigy nobody would have been able to hear her scream.
‘It would have been very hard to spot her in those conditions. It could have been a lot worse. It was a lucky escape.’
Mr Gent added the beach did have RNLI lifeguard patrolling it during the day but added the area was ‘too dangerous’ it was not designated as a safe swimming area.
He said the RNLI did not ‘condone’ people swimming there and urged them to user safer areas of the beach.