Pleasure boat impounded after death of girl, 12, and boy, 17, at Bournemouth beach

1 June 2023, 18:11

A man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after two children died on a Bournemouth beach.
A man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after two children died on a Bournemouth beach. Picture: Twitter/@buhalis

By Emma Soteriou

A pleasure boat that was sailing near Bournemouth beach has been impounded after the death of a 12-year-old girl and 17-year-old boy.

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The boy, from Southampton, and girl, from Buckinghamshire, died in hospital after getting into difficulty in the water on Wednesday afternoon.

A further eight people were treated by paramedics after the incident.

Police have since placed the Dorset Belle, a cruise boat which operates from Bournemouth Pier, under guard in Poole Harbour, according to the Times.

A source told the paper: "This vessel is under a police cordon. No one is permitted onboard or to touch the vessel."

It comes amid speculation that waves from a 'vessel' may have caused the deaths.

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Police rule out contact between swimmers and vessel off Bournemouth beach

The Dorset Belle, which can carry up to 80 guests, made several circuits of Bournemouth Pier on Wednesday, according to online tracker MarineTraffic, suggesting it was in the area at the time of the incident.

It was then taken back to a quay in Poole Harbour and placed under the police cordon.

An officer guarding the vessel on Thursday was joined by several officers in the afternoon, it is understood.

Dorset Police confirmed earlier on Thursday that the two children had not jumped from the pier or been hit by a jet-ski during the incident.

Read more: Waves from 'vessel' may have caused deaths of girl, 12, and boy, 17 at Bournemouth beach

Read more: Sick onlookers filmed medics as they tried to revive Bournemouth victims - as police urge people not to share footage

Boy and girl die following incident off Bournemouth beach

Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Farrell said: “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.”

She added: "I can also confirm there is no suggestion of people jumping from the pier - or jet skis being involved."

There was “no physical contact between a vessel and any of the swimmers at the time of the incident," she said.

Farrell thanked emergency services and members of the public who helped with the incident.

Dorset Police previously said a man in his 40s, who was on the water at the time, has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

The force is working alongside the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to establish what happened.

Police initially said at around 4.30pm they received a report from paramedics of people needing assistance on the beach off Bournemouth Pier.

Ten people were recovered from the water, though a boy, 17, and a girl, 12, had sustained critical injuries.

They were airlifted to hospital but later died, the force said.Their families have been informed.

The other eight people were treated non-life-threatening injuries at the scene.

A spokesperson for South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) said it sent multiple teams to the scene, including six double-crewed ambulances, two air ambulances, a hazardous area response team, and a critical care car.

The service said it searched the water to make sure no one else was missing and was "satisfied there are not".