Tragedy struck Bournemouth beach as a 12-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy lost their lives after being pulled from the sea. Eight others received treatment for non-life-threatening injuries following the incident. Emergency services were alerted at 4:32pm on Wednesday. Dorset Police have arrested a man in his 40s, who was on the water at the time, on suspicion of manslaughter. Authorities have initiated a multi-agency investigation into the incident.
The boy and girl were handed over to the ambulance service by HM Coastguard, who conducted a search to ensure no other individuals were missing. They confirmed that there were no additional missing persons. Emergency services, including a coastguard helicopter, were called to the scene near Bournemouth Pier. South West Ambulance Service, two air ambulances, Poole and Southbourne coastguard rescue teams, Mudeford RNLI lifeboat, and Dorset Police all provided support.
The beach, which was filled with people enjoying the half-term break and sunshine, was cleared, along with nearby Pier Approach, and the area was cordoned off. Eeman Qamar, a beachgoer from Southampton, recounted that lifeguards began to clear the beach just after 4:00pm, informing people of a major incident. She described the arrival of the first air ambulance and the subsequent search and rescue operation involving lifeguards on jet skis and boats.
Kathryn Walton, another beach visitor from Oxford, witnessed lifeguards and a large number of people rushing onto the beach. She observed people being moved away from a specific area as additional emergency service vehicles arrived. Walton speculated that someone may have been swimming and found themselves in a difficult situation.
The incident has left many affected, and the investigation into the circumstances continues.
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