Riptide may have led to drownings of two teens at Bournemouth beach, inquest reports
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An inquest has revealed a riptide may have led to the death of 17-year-old Joe Abbess and 12-year-old Sunnah Khan.
With both the cause of deaths having been identified as drowning in post-mortem examinations, an inquest at Dorset Coroner's Court has since 'suggested' a riptide may have led to the pair's death.
At the inquest, Dorset Police quickly shut down the notion of the pair having jumped into the water from the pier, however, it said it's keeping an 'open mind' about other factors which could have led to the teenagers' deaths.
It noted the force is looking further into the impact any weather conditions may have had on the water - such as a riptide.
Dorset coroner's officer Nicola Muller said: "The brief circumstances are that emergency services were contacted by members of the public... following suggestion they had been caught in a riptide."
A riptide, as per National World, is a 'powerful and fast-moving channels of water that flows away from the shoreline and into the open sea'.
A Rip Current, according to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) tends to flow 'at 1-2mph but can reach 4-5mph, which is faster than an Olympic swimmer'.
Its website continues: "Rips are especially powerful in larger surf, but never underestimate the power of any water. They are also found around river mouths, estuaries and man-made structures like piers and groynes.
"In the UK, the majority of RNLI Lifeguard incidents involve rip currents. They are a major cause of accidental drowning on beaches all across the world."
Eight other people also had to be rescued by emergency services that day, but they didn't sustain life-threatening injuries.
A pre-inquest review hearing is set to be held on 18 September.
Responding to the 'wild speculation' which has occurred on social media in relation to the incident, Detective Chief Superintendent Neil Corrigan said: "We are working with experts from partner agencies to understand all of the factors and this will take time to establish.
"We continue to support the families of Joe and Sunnah and they are being kept updated by specially trained family liaison officers about our investigation.
"I would ask that the police investigation is allowed to continue without further unhelpful speculation around circumstances of the incident, and that there is respect for the families of those who have died so tragically."
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677
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