'Hardworking and funny' teenager dies after Bournemouth beach incident

17-year-old Joe Abbess who died at Bournemouth beach on May 31. <i>(Image: Family handout)</i>
17-year-old Joe Abbess who died at Bournemouth beach on May 31. (Image: Family handout)

A 17-year-old boy who died in the water off Bournemouth beach has been described as a “fabulous young man” with a bright future by his devastated family.

Joe Abbess, from Southampton, died on Wednesday, May 31, following an incident in the water near Bournemouth Pier which drew a massive emergency response.

In an official statement, his family said: “We are heartbroken and devastated at the death of our Joe. He was a wonderful son and brother who is sadly missed.

“His family and friends will always love him and we are incredibly proud of the fabulous young man he was. He was kind and generous, loving and caring, hardworking and funny.

“Joe was a talented trainee chef, with a bright future ahead of him. We were privileged to have him in our lives for 17 years and we are so sorry he will never fulfil his dreams and ambitions.

“He was enjoying a day at the beach on Wednesday and we would like to thank his friends and all of the emergency services who helped him, when this tragedy unfolded.”

Joe died along with 12-year-old Sunnah Khan from High Wycombe, who was laid to rest on Saturday (June 3). Friends described her as an “angel”.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident, in which eight other people were rescued from the water.

A man in his 40s was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, but has been released under investigation.