COWES lifeboat was called to rescue two Southampton swimmers who got into difficulties in a strong ebb tide this afternoon (Thursday).

The two men, who were middle-aged, had entered the sea at Stanwood Point, Lepe.

They had reportedly been struggling after being in the water for around 30 minutes, but were then helped ashore by a kayaker.

The RNLI crew arrived at the beach to provide initial on-the-spot medical support.

“We found them to be very tired and to have swallowed a lot of water,” said lifeboat crew member, Jack Banks.

“We provided casualty care and were joined by coastguards from Lymington.

"Eventually the men were taken by ambulance to hospital in Southampton.

“The reason they gave for taking the plunge was they just wanted to cool off in the heat.”

The lifeboat launched at launched at 2pm and returned to station at 2.55pm.