While trotting along the East Winner sandbank a horse bolted after being startled by a dog and decided to go for a swim yesterday evening. The rider came off and the horse headed out into the main harbour channel.

The horses owner was reported to be distraught as she waded into the water to try and coax the animal back to shore. The RNLI Portsmouth Lifeboat was scrambled soon after although by the time they arrived the woman had returned to shore crew were concerned for the womans safety as the currents in the mouth of Langstone Harbour are particularly strong.

Lifeboat crew had to then stop the horse from swimming further into the channel which they managed only to have it gallop off across the beach. It then had to be stopped from heading towards nearby families which took a bit of herding.

10 minutes later a member of the public captured the animal after it had run into the Ferryboat Inn car park.

Aaron Gent from the RNLI said: From a distance it looked like the horse was playing. Then all of a sudden it bolted and went into the main channel 100m out from the actual beach itself. We saw the owner was with another horse owner. She ran after it and we thought hang on a minute shes gone in. She was only waist deep but you can get into trouble. By the time the two lifeboats arrived the woman had returned to the shore. Obviously she was distraught and worried about the horse.

Pic: The News