COASTGUARD crews rushed to the aid of two boys spotted struggling in the sea after taking to the water in an inflatable dinghy.

The teens were spotted off the Rustington coast yesterday evening and a team from Littlehampton Coastguard was dispatched to the scene.

Arriving at the beach, crews found the boys had made it ashore. But the pair were exhausted and freezing cold, having been struggling in the water for some time.

A Littlehampton Coastguard spokesman said: “Our team was tasked yesterday evening to reports of two boys in the water off of Rustington.

“Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station had also been tasked to assist in finding the two teenagers.

“Thankfully, once we were on the scene, the two boys were ashore, but both were very cold and tired having been struggling for quite some time to swim to shore. Littlehampton lifeboat recovered their inflatable dinghy and sent two crew members ashore to assist Coastguard with casualty care.

“Assistance from the Sout East Coast Ambulance service was also requested. Both casualties were taken to hospital for further checks and observation.

“Remember that if you’re going out to sea, even in an inflatable, you should ensure that you have the relevant safety equipment, and are aware of the tides and weather.

“In a coastal emergency call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”