Selsey RNLI rescued three men adrift in an inflatable boat on Saturday.
The UK Coastguard asked the volunteer crew to assist after a call at around 7pm from a member of the public who alerted them to the small boat at East Beach, which was being swept out to sea.
An RNLI lifeboat arrived to pick up the men, who had tried rowing against the tide, and towed the boat back to shore.
Coastguards gave the trio some safety advice after the incident, as the men had not carried any safety equipment, only a mobile phoone.
The lifeboat returned to the RNLI station by 7.45pm.