A 17-YEAR-OLD boy and a 12-year-old girl have died after an incident off Bournemouth Pier.
The pair were among 10 people recovered from the water by emergency services after police received reports of an incident at around 4.30pm on Wednesday (May 31) afternoon.
Dorset Police said the two young people sustained ‘critical injuries’ and sadly died later at hospital.
The other eight people were treated by the ambulance service for injuries that are not life-threatening, police said.
An investigation has been launched, with Dorset Police working alongside the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in accordance with established protocols.
A man aged in his 40s, who was on the water at the time, has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.
Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Corrigan, of Dorset Police, said: “Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the young people who tragically died and we are doing all we can to support their families.
“I understand the beach was very busy at the time of the incident and I would ask anyone with information that may assist our enquiries to please come forward.
“We are at the early stages of our investigation and would ask people not to speculate about the circumstances surrounding the incident.”
Anyone with information should contact Dorset Police via www.dorset.police.uk, or on 101, quoting incident number 55230083818. They can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Conor Burns, the MP for Bournemouth West, tweeted after the incident.
“Thoughts with everyone associated with the dreadful events unfolding in Bournemouth this evening,” he said.
“A salutary lesson that our beaches and ocean can give much pleasure but danger is ever present.”
He thanked lifeguards and the Air Ambulance for their work and later tweeted: “I express my deep condolences to the family and friends of the two young people who tragically lost their lives in Bournemouth earlier today.
“A dreadful event in circumstances when they were enjoying beautiful weather in our town. So sad.”