The all weather lifeboat was launched to assist the inshore lifeboat to search for an initial report of two people seen entering the water west of Worthing Pier.
The inshore crew had carried out an immediate search around the pier followed by a shoreline search to the west. As the all weather lifeboat arrived on the scene, the inshore lifeboat crew found a woman in the water and pulled her into the boat.
She was extremely cold and the crew beached the lifeboat by Worthing Pier where Shoreham coastguard team, police and an ambulance crew were waiting. The lifeboat crew and coastguards initially gave her first aid before being handed over to the ambulance paramedics who took her to hospital.
It was established that there was only one person who had been in the water. The lifeboats then returned to station.
Shoreham lifeboat coxswain Steve Smith said: “The casualty was very lucky as she had been in the water for some time. It was a great multi-agency response from all the teams involved and we have helped save her life.”