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No jet skis or pier jumping were involved in the deaths of two children at Bournemouth beach, Dorset Police say.
Nor was there any “physical contact” between a vessel and 10 swimmers plucked from the waves, but a 40-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.
The youngsters – a 17-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl – suffered “critical injuries” and died after being pulled from the sea.
Air ambulances landed on the beach
(PA / Professor Dimitrios Buhalis )
Eight other people were treated on the beach for injuries described as non-threatening.
The boy, from Southampton, and the girl, from Buckinghamshire, did not know each other.
Follow the latest updates here.
Dorset Police Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Farrell told journalists there was “no suggestion” of people jumping from Bournemouth pier or of jet skis being involved.
She said: “As we have a person in custody, you will know there is only limited information I can give about the investigation.
“However, to avoid further speculation, I am able to tell you that it’s clear that yesterday a number of people already in the water got into difficulty and we are investigating the circumstances or event that caused that to happen.
“Early investigation indicates that there was no physical contact between a vessel and any of the swimmers at the time of the incident.
“I can also confirm there is no suggestion of people jumping from the pier or jet-skis being involved.”
Ms Farrell said officers were investigating the “circumstances or event” that caused a number of people to get into difficulty in the water.
Dorset Police promised further information would be released as the investigation progressed.
A total of 10 people were rescued from the sea, Ms Farrell said.
“As you can imagine, we are at the early stages of our investigation, and we would ask people not to speculate about the circumstances surrounding the incident to both protect our inquiries and out of respect for the victims and their families.
“We are aware of a number of videos circulating on social media and we would urge people to refrain from doing this.
“We know the beach was very busy when the incident occurred. I am today urging anyone who saw what happened or has any information that may assist to please come forward.”
The operation is named Operation Marble, she said.
Councillor Vikki Slade, leader of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, said what happened must have been terrifying.
“Again I want to add our sincere condolences to the families of the children who lost their lives, and our thoughts are with the families of the young people that were in the water,” she said.
“It must have been a really terrifying experience for everybody.
“The services worked incredibly well together. Our staff on the beach all rallied round to support the emergency services.”
She said extra staff were available on the beach now and over the weekend, adding: “The beach is busy. We are making sure that the RNLI are very visible and that our teams are available there to support people and make sure that they feel safe on the beach.”