Thankful mum Maureen Crossley cuddled her sons in the wake of a Southsea sea drama and said: ‘I thought we would all drown.’
She and a friend – both non-swimmers – ended up floundering out of their depth along with the boys, just feet from a steep concrete slope to the water.
Both women tumbled into the sea as they tried to save the youngsters.
Lee Crossley, 11, had dived in when his brother Nathan, eight, slipped off the concrete bank and into the waves.
All four were finally rescued when a catering assistant from the nearby Sea Life centre leapt into the sea and helped organise a human chain to pull them ashore away from danger.
It was 18-year-old Scott Lewis, a trained lifeguard, who came to the family’s rescue.
He plunged in and helped form the human chain.