A MUM and two children were at the centre of a dramatic rescue after being swept out to sea on Wednesday afternoon.

South Central Ambulance Service rushed to the scene after a man, who entered the water to help the trio, also got into difficulty swimming.

SCAS received an emergency call at 1.55pm after the woman and two children got into difficulties and were swept out to sea near Portsmouth.

The two adults and two children in the water were holding on to a single life ring before being picked up by a rescue boat and taken to safety.

The woman and her two children were taken to the Queen Alexandra Hospital as a precaution against secondary drowning, which can occur hours after ingesting large amounts of seawater.

Now emergency services are warning residents of the dangers posed while at the beach following the incident in Portsmouth.

Thousands of sunseekers are expected to flock to the seaside today with the forecast to be the hottest day ever recorded in the UK.

However, the South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) is urging people to avoid putting themselves in danger in coastal waters.

Paramedic at SCAS North Harbour Station in Portsmouth, James O’Kennedy said: "There are significant dangers to people entering the water with a real risk of harm and loss of life. Swimmers should only enter the sea in the areas of the beach which are clearly signed and covered by on-duty RNLI Lifeguards.”

"We would urge people to take heed of the warning signs in coastal and inland waters, where it is dangerous to be in the water to prevent completely avoidable injuries and deaths."

Beach goers are urged to call the Coastguard on 999 if they see anyone in difficulty in the sea.

They should alert the lifeguards, encourage the person to stay calm and float, and if there is a life ring they should use it.

Emergency services say residents should not enter the water themselves under any circumstances.