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Man arrested following Bournemouth sea tragedy released under investigation, police say
1 June 2023, 21:57 | Updated: 2 June 2023, 01:58
A man who was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter following the deaths of a 17-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl has been released under investigation while enquiries continue, police have said.
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The boy, from Southampton, and girl, from Buckinghamshire, died in hospital after getting into difficulty in the sea off Bournemouth beach on Wednesday afternoon.
Dorset Police confirmed they were not related.
Eight other people were treated by paramedics at the scene.
The man arrested was on the water at the time, the force said.
Officers dismissed suggestions that a boat struck swimmers, saying today that "early investigation indicates that there was no physical contact between a vessel and any swimmers at the time of the incident".
Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Corrigan said: "Our thoughts remain very much with the loved ones of the two young people at this horrendous time and we are doing all we can to support their families.
"We are continuing with our investigation, which is still at the early stages, and would ask people not to speculate about the circumstances surrounding the incident to both protect our enquiries and out of respect for the victims' families.
Police were seen standing by a sightseeing boat, The Dorset Belle, moored on Poole Harbour, on Thursday evening.
Police rule out contact between swimmers and vessel off Bournemouth beach
The vessel, which can carry up to 80 guests, made several circuits in the waters off Bournemouth Pier on Wednesday, according to online tracker MarineTraffic, including around the time of the incident.
Speaking at a press conference in Bournemouth, Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Farrell also said there was no suggestion that people had been jumping into the sea from the pier or that jet skis were involved.
Boy and girl die following incident off Bournemouth beach
"We are working with partner agencies to understand what has caused the tragedy," the force said in a statement.
"We are investigating the circumstances that caused a number of swimmers to get into difficulty.
"Further information will be released as the investigation progresses."