What happened at Bournemouth beach? Everything we know about incident

Tragedy struck on a crowded beach in Bournemouth yesterday when two teenagers died after being pulled from the sea.

Eight other people were rescued from the water after getting into trouble off the main pier while thousands of beachgoers enjoyed the sunny semi-annual weather.

Her non-life-threatening injuries were treated by paramedics.

Dorset Police, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency have launched an inquiry into the circumstances of the incident.

Dorset Police said the two who died – a 17-year-old boy from Southampton and a 12-year-old girl from Buckinghamshire – suffered “serious injuries”.

According to initial investigations, a 40-year-old man who was on the water at the time was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, the police said. It is believed that the man was riding a jet ski.

What we know about the area

Jet skis and other watercraft operating in the Bournemouth and Poole areas are subject to certain rules between April and October.

A popular seaside town on England’s south coast, Bournemouth is popular with locals and tourists alike during the summer months.

According to the Surf Forecast website, average temperatures in and around the pier area of ​​the sea are 12.4°C in June and can top 16°C in September.

The website states that the area tends to experience a mix of “surface waves” and “wind waves”. Surfers are warned to “watch out for waves and crowds.”

A day after the tragedy, a lifeguard hoists a supervised swimming flag on Bournemouth beach


Bournemouth Pier, like any rocky outcrop in the sea such as ledges, headlands or sandbars, poses a hazard to swimmers due to spring tides or currents.

Fissures, as they are commonly called, occur when water that has been pushed ashore by the sea flows outward again, forming a water channel that drains back to the sea.

Waves are often harmless and unnoticed by swimmers, but typically on large headlands or piers, they can be strong and draw unsuspecting swimmers and surfers out to sea, especially when there’s a big swell.

Piers and cliffs also pose a hazard in the summer as the popular pastime of ‘tombstoning’ or cliff jumping takes place, with adventure seekers throwing themselves off the side of these rocky outcrops into the sea.

Frequently, people unfamiliar with the conditions are injured or even killed by shallow water, hitting people in the sea below or ending up in a dangerous position.

When the incident occurred, the sea at Bournemouth appeared calm, with very little swell. The water temperature was 15 degrees, so a wetsuit is required for comfortable swimming.

The tides in Bournemouth have two highs and two lows in a 24 hour period. As in the rest of the UK, the tidal range is large, exposing large expanses of sand at low tide.

On May 31, at 1:44 p.m., there was low tide with a high tide of 1 m, while at 7:35 p.m. the high tide was 1.89 m – so it was a big tide.

This means the incident happened mid-tide as the water pushed towards the shore.

What else did the police say?

At a news conference on Thursday, Dorset Police dismissed reports that the deceased had jumped off the pier or been hit by a jet ski.

Deputy Chief of Police Rachel Farrell confirmed that none of the swimmers had “physical contact” with a vessel.

She said a number of people who were already in the water got into trouble and police were investigating what “led up to it”.

“Because we have one person in custody, you know I can only give limited information about the investigation,” Ms Farrell said.

“However, to avoid further speculation, I can tell you that it is clear that yesterday a number of people who were already in the water got into trouble and we are investigating the circumstances or event that led to it .”

Ms Farrell added that the two deceased were unrelated and that those involved were “different people from different families” who are being assisted by “magnanimous members of the public”.

She added, “We are all really devastated that two young people have lost their lives.”

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire And Rescue, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Andy Cole, Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Farrell and Vikki Slade, Chairwoman of Local Council


“My thoughts and those of all emergency services are with their loved ones at this terrible time and we are doing everything we can to support their families.”

Ms Farrell added: “As you can imagine, we are at an early stage in our investigation and would like to ask people not to speculate about the circumstances surrounding the incident, both to protect our investigation and out of respect for the victims and.” their families.”

“We are aware of a number of videos being shared on social media and we urge people to stop doing so.”

“We know the beach was very busy when the incident happened. Today I urge anyone who saw what happened or has any helpful information to come forward.”

“If anyone has relevant phone footage they can contact Dorset Police through our public major incidents portal where they can upload the images and we will share the links on social media.”

“This operation is called Operation Marble. So please share the pictures with the police and not on social media.”

She added: “I would like to sincerely thank the members of the public who have been helping those in need in the water and I am also very grateful to the larger beachgoers who have been really quick to get off the beach to allow the rescue workers to do their work. “

Witnesses see beachgoers filming relief efforts

A rescue plane lands on Bournemouth beach

(Max Willcock/BNPS)

People on the beach said they saw other beachgoers filming paramedics administering CPR to those involved in the incident.

Nicola Holton, who was on the beach with her husband, said she saw lifeguards go into the sea to help “several people” who were struggling in the water.

“[There were] “A lot of idiots ignore lifeguards’ requests to get out of the water and clear the beach,” she said.

“People ran towards those who were taking CPR recordings on their phones.”

A doctor who said he was involved in trying to revive the young girl praised the work of beach lifeguards and also attacked those filming the incident.

“Those who film the desperate attempts at resuscitation should think long and hard about their actions. No one should be voyeuristic about the tragic death of a child,” he said MailOnline.

Council to assess the safety of the sea near the pier

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council leader Vikki Slade said the agency was working with the emergency services and would assess safety in the water near the pier.

“There are specific rules for the buoys in the water, but there is no evidence that those rules have been broken,” she said.

Tobias Ellwood, MP for East Bournemouth and chairman of the House of Commons Defense Committee, told Sky News that the pier was “implicated” in the tragedy.

The local council will review its protocols on what can be done on the pier, he added.

Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns said the incident was a “salutary lesson” that there is “always danger” on beaches and in the sea.

Beachgoers shocked by the tragedy

The two youths who died on Bournemouth beach had neither jumped off the pier nor been hit by a jet ski, police confirmed

((Andrew Matthews/PA))

Families who arrived at the beach on Thursday spoke of their shock at the previous day’s events.

One woman, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s such a shame, people just come here for fun, it’s a real tragedy.”

Mourners were seen laying a bouquet of flowers on the beach near the pier early Thursday morning.

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing russellfalcon@ustimespost.com.

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