A MAN arrested in connection with the tragic deaths of two young people on Bournemouth beach on Wednesday (May 31) has been released under investigation.
A 12-year-old girl from Buckinghamshire and a 17-year-old boy from Southampton died after ‘an incident’ in the water near the pier at around 4.30pm.
Detectives investigating the circumstances said the man, in his 40s who was on the water at the time and was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, had been released while enquiries continue.
They also confirmed the boy and the girl were from separate groups visiting the beach and the arrested man was not known to them.
It is also understood a pleasure boat, the Dorset Belle, has been impounded at nearby Poole Harbour.
Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Corrigan, of Dorset Police, said: “Our thoughts remain very much with the loved ones of the two young people at this horrendous time and we are doing all we can to support their families.
“We are continuing with our investigation, which is still at the early stages, and would ask people not to speculate about the circumstances surrounding the incident to both protect our enquiries and out of respect for the victims’ families.
“Early investigation indicates that there was no physical contact between a vessel and any swimmers at the time of the incident and there is no suggestion of people jumping from the pier or jet skis being involved.
“We know that the beach was very busy when this incident occurred. I am urging anyone who saw what happened, or has any information that may assist our investigation, to please come forward.
“Also, I urge anyone with relevant phone footage that may assist our enquiries to submit it to Dorset Police via the Major Incident Public Portal quoting Operation Marble rather than sharing it on social media.
“I would like to sincerely thank the members of the public who went to help the people in trouble in the water. I am also very grateful for the wider beachgoers who cleared the beach really quickly and allowed the emergency services to do their work.
“This incident sparked a multi-agency response from a range of emergency services, including the ambulance service, HM Coastguard, the RNLI, the fire service, BCP Council and Dorset Police.
“All these emergency responders came together to provide a really swift and well-coordinated response and did everything they could to save lives. I thank all of those responders for their professionalism and compassion in the face of this tragedy.
“We will have our local neighbourhood officers out on patrol over the coming days alongside our colleagues from the beach services at the local council and the RNLI. So if you have any information about the incident, or any concerns please do approach them.”
Anyone with information should submit it via https://mipp.police.uk/operation/55HQ23M93-PO1. If you are unable to submit information online, call 101, quoting occurrence number 55230083818. They can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.