Clacton Pier: Girl dies and man critical after sea rescue

Police car at Clacton Pier
Image caption Three people were pulled from the water, near Clacton Pier, at about 13:40 BST

A 14-year-old girl has died and an 18-year-old man is in a critical condition after three people were rescued from the sea off the Essex coast.

The three, who are related, were pulled from the water near Clacton Pier at about 13:40 BST, police said.

All three were treated on the beach by paramedics before being taken to Colchester General Hospital.

A 15-year-old girl is expected to make a full recovery, police said.

Image caption Ambulance crews, the coastguard and police were called to the scene and Clacton RNLI said they were also called out

Acting Det Supt Paul Wells said: "At this early stage, we believe that three teenagers got into difficulty at sea and were recovered from the water, close to Clacton Pier.

"A teenage boy and a girl were taken to hospital in a critical condition. Of these, a 14-year-old girl has died in hospital, an 18-year old man is stable but remains in a critical condition.

"The three casualties are related. Immediate family members have been informed and are at hospital. We are continuing to support the family at this unimaginably difficult time."

Image caption Acting Det Supt Paul Wells said police believe the three teenagers got into difficulty at sea

Chris Hines, from Sudbury, who has been trained in first aid, ran over to help.

"My wife said there were three people who was in trouble and I rushed over and started CPR," he told the BBC.

"An ambulance turned up pretty quickly. I just hope I did some good."

A beach hut owner, who asked not to be named, said: "I saw someone being dragged out of the water and people trying to resuscitate them.

"The beach patrol brought up a defibrillator and was working on them for 10 minutes before other emergency services arrived."

Image copyright Daniel Kingham
Image caption Air ambulances were called to the scene

"It's a tragedy. I've lived here for 26 years. People underestimate the sea and they don't understand the currents and tides. Holidaymakers don't have a clue and there aren't any well-defined swimming areas here," he said.

Last year 15-year-old Ben Quartermaine died after getting into difficulty while swimming with a friend near Clacton Pier on 26 July.

Anu Cooray, 37, from Watford, told the BBC: "We saw the lifeguards running and ambulance paramedics.

"They were doing chest compressions. Three helicopters came. One of them was really bad. We were so sad to see it."

One witness Becky Bryant, 40, said: "I saw two people being pulled from the sea and lifeguards trying to do CPR until the paramedics turned up. Everyone tried to take turns doing the CPR while the lifeboat went out again and retrieved the third person who seemed not to be in such a bad way."

The carer, from Wivenhoe, added: "It was so distressing, everyone was trying to do what they could; lifeguards, air ambulance, they truly worked as a team."

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