Riptide Tragedy Unfolds at Bournemouth Beach: Eyewitness Account Reveals Critical Moments

Riptide Tragedy Unfolds at Bournemouth Beach: Eyewitness Account Reveals Critical Moments

…By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.

Witness Describes Riptide Forming Before Tragic Drowning Incident at Bournemouth Beach


12-Year-Old Girl and 17-Year-Old Boy Lose Their Lives

A witness who observed the tragic incident at Bournemouth beach has come forward to describe how a riptide formed just seconds before a 12-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy drowned.

Sunnah Khan, aged 12, and Joe Abbess, aged 17, were swimming near Bournemouth Pier on May 31 when they, along with eight others, encountered difficulties in the water.

Despite the efforts of lifeguards and paramedics to resuscitate them on the sand, both Sunnah and Joe were pronounced dead shortly after being airlifted to the hospital.

During the opening of the inquest proceedings at Bournemouth Town Hall, the Dorset coroner’s officer stated that the two children drowned due to a “sudden riptide” in the area.

Trevor Pinto, a beachgoer, revealed that he witnessed the formation of the riptide just moments before Sunnah and Joe went under.


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He explained that while walking towards Bournemouth Pier with his son, they heard lifeguards making an announcement about the riptide.

Mr. Pinto looked out to sea and noticed the swirling current about 200 meters away, moving towards the pier.

As they reached the end of the pier, they saw lifeguards and jet skis recovering the bodies of Sunnah and Joe from the water.

Mr. Pinto recalled the frantic scene and the efforts of the lifeguards to administer CPR on the beach.

The presence of other individuals and the emergence of distressing information further highlighted that something was wrong.

The witness shared details of what he witnessed, including the lifeguards’ search efforts and the presence of a person wearing a black T-shirt.

Videos were being taken, but as the situation escalated, authorities began to push people away from the scene.

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Mr. Pinto clarified that he did not see any jet skis on the pier and noted the absence of the Dorset Belle pleasure craft by the time he reached the end of the pier.


During the inquest, it was officially confirmed that Sunnah and Joe died from drowning as a result of the riptide.

However, the cause of their deaths raised questions about Dorset Police’s initial statement referring to “critical injuries.”

Sunnah’s mother, Stephanie Williams, expressed frustration at the lack of information surrounding her daughter’s death and the release of the person arrested for double manslaughter on bail.

She called for a better understanding of the circumstances and the reasons behind the bail decision.

The coroner’s assistant emphasized the involvement of a sudden riptide based on reports from members of the public who witnessed the incident.

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She highlighted the ongoing police investigation and urged people not to speculate on the circumstances, allowing the investigation to proceed and provide clarity.

The hearing was adjourned until a pre-inquest review to be held on September 18.

Both families of the deceased were not present during the hearing.



The witness account sheds light on the presence of a riptide prior to the tragic drowning incident.

It underscores the importance of raising awareness about water safety and the potential dangers of swimming in open water.

The ongoing police investigation aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the incident and prevent further speculation.

The heartfelt condolences of the coroner and authorities go out to the families affected by this devastating tragedy.


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