RNLI crews helped to rescue a stricken sailor after his catamaran capsized off Eastney seafront on Sunday.
The volunteer crews were forced to call off a training session nearby after the alarm was raised about the sailor and his boat at 12.30pm.
The vessel was battling against strong winds lashing the seafront when it capsized, throwing its captain into the choppy waters.
The man, believed to be in his 40s, was forced to swim to shore, where he collapsed after being pulled clear of the waves by passers-by.
With the breaking swell, submerged rocks and broken groynes, the RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was unable to safely land on the beach, meaning two volunteer crew members also had to swim ashore with first aid kits and oxygen to further assess the casualties condition.
Aaron Gent, crewman with Portsmouth RNLI lifeboat station said: ‘When the crews arrived the man was just collapsed on the beach.
‘They had never seen anyone as exhausted as he was – he was just totally drained after fighting to swim to the beach.’
Crewman Euan Welsh administered first aid and called for an ambulance which arrived minutes later.
The larger Atlantic class lifeboat Norma T arrived to secure the battered catamaran and provide first aid support until paramedics arrived.
The boat had suffered extensive damage to its hull and could not be towed away.