New information has been released by Dorset Police regarding the tragic incident off Bournemouth beach on Wednesday afternoon, where a 12-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy lost their lives after being pulled from the sea. Police have confirmed that there was no contact with a jet ski or boat, and no one jumped from the pier. A man in his 40s has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and remains in custody. The investigation is still in its early stages, and the exact details of the incident remain unclear.
Members of the public rushed to help the ten swimmers who were struggling in the water. The girl and boy, from Buckinghamshire and Southampton respectively, sustained critical injuries and later died in hospital. The other eight individuals were rescued and treated on the beach. Emergency services were called to the beach off Bournemouth Pier, which was crowded with people on half-term holidays, at 4:32pm BST.
Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Farrell expressed gratitude to those who assisted people in trouble in the water and the beachgoers who allowed emergency services to do their jobs. Dr Rob Rosa, who was on the beach and aided emergency service crews, praised the young lifeguards for their exceptional performance under challenging circumstances.
Air ambulances and a lifeguard on a jet ski were deployed for the rescue, while the coastguard conducted a search to ensure no other individuals were missing. A section of the beach and the nearby Pier Approach were cordoned off, and the RNLI is now offering support to the lifeguards involved in the rescue.
Tobias Ellwood, the Conservative MP for Bournemouth East, suggested that protocols on the pier could be reviewed following the “terrible tragedy.” Leader of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, Vikki Slade, emphasised that beach safety is a top priority for the authority. Extra staff and lifeboat support from the RNLI will be visible on the scene this weekend.
Dorset Police is appealing for witnesses to come forward and has said that more information will be released as the investigation progresses. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency are also involved in the ongoing investigation.
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