…By Henry George for TDPel Media.
Dorset Police has concluded that no criminal offences were committed in relation to the death of two young swimmers off Bournemouth beach in May.
A man in his 40s who was initially arrested on suspicion of manslaughter will face no further action, according to the police force.
Investigation of the Drowning Incident
Joe Abbess, 17, and Sunnah Khan, 12, drowned while swimming near the pier at the Dorset seaside resort on May 31.
Eight other individuals were treated by paramedics after being suspected of getting caught in a riptide.
Dorset Police impounded the pleasure cruiser Dorset Belle as part of their investigation into the incident.
Conclusion Regarding the Dorset Belle’s Involvement
After consulting an expert and conducting a thorough investigation, Dorset Police determined that the movement of the Dorset Belle did not contribute to creating dangerous sea conditions during the incident.
The force made an “evidence-based decision” regarding this matter.
Statement by Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Corrigan
Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Corrigan provided further details, stating that the incident occurred approximately 100 meters east of the pier in the area between the RNLI flags.
Tragically, Joe and Sunnah drowned during the incident, while 11 people were rescued by RNLI lifeguards.
Witnesses had suggested that the movement of the Dorset Belle prior to the incident could have played a role in creating dangerous sea conditions.
Expert Review and Investigation Process
To gain a comprehensive understanding of the situation, Dorset Police enlisted the help of an expert to review the gathered evidence.
This included examining the boat, assessing the actions of its operator, and considering the prevailing tide, meteorological conditions, and shoreline topography at the time.
The police also interviewed numerous witnesses and analyzed CCTV and mobile phone footage.
Confirmation that the Dorset Belle Was Not a Contributing Factor
Based on all the available evidence, Dorset Police confirmed that they do not believe the movement of the Dorset Belle contributed to the incident.
They have worked closely with beach safety agencies throughout the investigation.
Report to be Provided to the Coroner
Dorset Police will collaborate with the coroner for Dorset to provide a report covering the incident and the investigation.
It is the responsibility of the coroner to make final findings regarding the causes during the inquest proceedings.
Thoughts and Condolences from Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Corrigan
Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Corrigan expressed his condolences to the families of Sunnah Khan and Joe Abbess, and his thoughts remain with them during this difficult time.
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