Shropshire Star

Boy who died after incident in the water in Bournemouth was ‘fabulous young man’

The family of Joe Abbess have thanked his friends and all the emergency services who helped him.

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Bournemouth beach deaths

The 17-year-old boy who died after getting into difficulty in the water off Bournemouth beach this week has been described by his family as a “fabulous young man”.

Joe Abbess, from Southampton, was “kind and generous, loving and caring, hardworking and funny”, according to a family statement issued by Dorset Police.

A 12-year-old girl, named in reports as Sunnah Khan, from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, also died in the incident.

Bournemouth beach deaths
The scene at Bournemouth beach on Wednesday (Professor Dimitrios Buhalis)

A man in his 40s who was “on the water” at the time was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, and was released under investigation on Thursday while police inquiries continue.

In a statement, Joe’s family said: “We are heartbroken and devastated at the death of our Joe. He was a wonderful son and brother who is sadly missed.

“His family and friends will always love him and we are incredibly proud of the fabulous young man he was. He was kind and generous, loving and caring, hardworking and funny.

“Joe was a talented trainee chef, with a bright future ahead of him.

“We were privileged to have him in our lives for 17 years and we are so sorry he will never fulfil his dreams and ambitions.

“He was enjoying a day at the beach on Wednesday and we would like to thank his friends and all of the emergency services who helped him, when this tragedy unfolded.”

Dorset Police received a report from paramedics at about 4.30pm on Wednesday afternoon of people requiring assistance on the beach near to Bournemouth Pier.

Emergency services attended the scene and 10 people were recovered from the water.

The force said that a 17-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl sustained “critical injuries” and later died in hospital, while the other eight people were treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.

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