Youths ‘armed with bats’ brawl on Bournemouth beach – a day after deaths of two children | UK | News

Fifty youths wielding weapons brawled on Bournemouth beach yesterday – just one day after two children drowned in the sea.

The huge brawl erupted just after 3pm, resulting in one person being detained and one other slightly injured.

One day earlier, a 12-year-old girl and boy aged 17 were pronounced dead after a major incident in which ten people had to be pulled from the water.

A police spokesman said: “Dorset Police received a report at 3.02pm of a disturbance involving a large number of young people on the beach near to Bournemouth Pier.

“Officers attended and one person was detained in connection with the incident.

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“At this time one person has been treated for minor injuries and no further injuries have been reported.”

Enquiries are ongoing, the spokesman added.

Andy Martin, who witnessed the fight, tweeted: “Can’t believe that in the exact same spot on the beach where 2 children died yesterday, there’s a massive brawl involving 50 youths with bats and weapons.”

A man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after Wednesday’s tragedy but was yesterday released under investigation.

A boy, 17, from Southampton and a girl, 12, from Buckinghamshire, neither of whom has yet been named, died after getting into difficulty in the water at the Dorset resort. Eight more people were treated by paramedics.

Reports have suggested a sightseeing boat, the Dorset Belle, has been impounded at Poole Harbour by police.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Dorset Police Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Farrell said none of the swimmers had been in “physical contact” with a vessel and they had not jumped from the pier.

She said speculation that jet skis had been involved was also incorrect.

She continued: “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.”

She said the two who died were not related to each other and those involved were “different people from different families” who were assisted by “great-spirited members of the public”.

She added: “We are all truly devastated that two young people have lost their lives.

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

Bournemouth is an extremely popular tourist destination, attracting hundreds of thousands of people every year.

In June 2020, police declared another major incident after vast numbers of people crowded onto the beach despite ongoing lockdown restrictions.

Vikki Slade, leader of Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch Council, said: “The irresponsible behaviour and actions of so many people is just shocking and our services are stretched to the absolute hilt trying to keep everyone safe.

“We have had no choice now but to declare a major incident and initiate an emergency response.”

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