A family member raised the alarm when an inflatable craft blew out to sea in a strong northerly breeze off Seaford beach on Thursday June 6.
Volunteers from Newhaven’s RNLI Lifeboat Station were launched at 12.37pm on board the Severn Class lifeboat David and Elizabeth Acland.
They proceeded at full speed to the inflatable, which by this time was almost a mile off shore.
The casualties had managed to get the attention of passing yacht Demetrius, who stood by until the lifeboat arrived.
Once the lifeboat was alongside, the three people, who were cold but otherwise unharmed, were bought on board the lifeboat and the inflatable craft was recovered.
The casualties and their boat were then repatriated with their family on Seaford beach, where coastguards were waiting to offer safety advice. The lifeboat then returned to station.
Coxswain Paul Legendre said: “The three men were very lucky in the strong northerly breeze as they were getting blown out to sea at a fast rate.
“We would always recommend that the absolute minimum safety equipment is life jackets as this situation could have so easily have turned into a tragedy.
“Please always take care with inflatable craft when there is a strong northerly breeze and if possible have a line from the inflatable to the beach.”