Tributes have been pouring in for a 17-year-old boy who drowned after he got caught in a suspected riptide in the sea off Bournemouth beach last week.
Joe Abbess, who was studying to be a chef at City College Southampton, drowned along with 12-year-old Sunnah Khan in the Dorset seaside resort on 31 May.
At an inquest into the deaths on Monday, a coroner said the pair died of drowning following the "suggestion" they got caught in a riptide.
In response to the deaths, Bournemouth Christchurch Poole Council suspended all boat operations off Bournemouth pier.
The family of Joe paid tribute in a statement saying he was "a wonderful son and brother" with a "bright future ahead of him".
Khan's mum, Stephanie Williams, tweeted: "No parent should ever have to go through what her dad and I are going through."
Martin Sim, principal at City College Southampton, where Joe was studying, said: “We send our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the two young people who lost their lives, which we now know included one of our hospitality students, Joe Abbess."
In a joint statement from teachers at the college, they called Abbess an "exceptional student" who will be "deeply missed."
Friend Ben McKinnon said: "He was the most brilliant, genuine and inspiring person I have ever met."
A man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter has been released under investigation.
Six other teenagers were rescued after being dragged out to sea.
Yahoo News UK runs down what happened during the incident and all the information we know so far.
Bournemouth tragedy: Read more
Families of victims wait for answers as police keep ‘open mind’ (Evening Standard)
Police 'lack of clarity' led to 'wild speculation' (Daily Echo)
Dorset Police received a report from paramedics at around 4.30pm on the afternoon of 31 May of people requiring assistance on the beach off Bournemouth Pier.
Lifeguards rushed into the water to the east of the pier to rescue multiple people.
While this was happening witnesses on the beach reported seeing the body of a young male wash up on the shore.
Lifeguards recovered a teenage girl from the sea next to the pier and were seen giving her CPR. She was taken off the beach and flown to hospital by air ambulance.
Bournemouth beach tragedy ‘like scene from horror film’ (The Independent)
What’s the latest?
On Tuesday Bournemouth Christchurch Poole cancelled all boat operations off Bournemouth pier in response to the deaths.
A council spokesperson said: "All boat operations from the pier have been suspended as a precaution, pending a conclusion to the police investigation.
“We are aware the investigation is complex and will consult with Dorset Police when the investigation is complete.”
Over the weekend the identities of both of the victims were revealed.
On Wednesday I lost my beautiful daughter at Bournemouth beach. Sunnah was so well loved and well liked. No parent should ever have to go through what her dad and I are going through. We love you so much baby girl 💕 pic.twitter.com/Ekxgfr7FVF
— Stephanie Williams (@smw_rn) June 4, 2023
In a Tweet, Khan's mum said: "On Wednesday I lost my beautiful daughter at Bournemouth beach. Sunnah was so well loved and well liked. No parent should ever have to go through what her dad and I are going through. We love you so much baby girl."
In a hearing to open the inquest proceedings at Bournemouth Town Hall, Dorset coroner’s officer Nicola Muller said that post-mortem examinations carried showed the cause of their deaths was drowning.
She said both victims were taken to hospital but later died.
Senior coroner Rachael Griffin said had requested both of the bodies be released for their funerals, despite the ongoing investigation.
Griffin said: "It’s very important people do not speculate on the circumstances surrounding Joe and Sunnah’s deaths and allow the police investigation to proceed, which will allow my investigation to proceed."
How many people were involved?
Emergency services attended the scene and 10 people were recovered from the water.
Eight teenagers, aged between 13 to 18, were rescued from the water by RNLI lifeguards and were treated for injuries that are not life-threatening.
Why has the police response been criticised?
Numerous theories as to what caused the deaths have circulated on social media, and despite the police dismissing most of them they have still been criticised for the lack of information they have provided.
Initially, eyewitnesses suggested that the wash of jet skis close to the pier may have caused the incident, with others saying they saw people jumping off the pier.
Both of these theories have been denied by the police.
On Sunday, Khan's mum criticised the police's handling of the case, saying she had not been told anything outside of the statements that had been put out.
She told The Sun: “It’s just really difficult to accept. Somebody has potentially caused Sunnah to be taken away from us.
"The police have only told us what they said in a statement."
She added: "We don’t actually know how it came about. I don’t understand how somebody can be released on bail for double manslaughter. How does that work?"
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood has expressed concern about a lack of clarity from local police officers about the incident, which he said had led to "wild speculation on social media".
But David Sidwick, the Conservative police and crime commissioner for Dorset, defended the police’s handling of the "complex" case.
Dorset Police have said that the beach was extremely busy but that neither of the deceased young people or anyone else pulled from the sea at the time of the incident was involved in any collision or contact with any vessel in the water.