A top doctor has slammed people who stood around filming a tragedy on Bournemouth beach on Wednesday that left two children dead and eight others injured.
A 12-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy died in hospital after being pulled from the sea around 4.30pm. Eight other people - the majority of whom are believed to be children - who also got into difficulty in the water needed medical treatment.
A man aged in his 40s, who was “on the water” at the time, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and remains in custody, police have confirmed.
Bob Rosa, a former GP who is now a Chief Medical Officer, happened to be on the popular resort beach when the incident occured on Wednesday afternoon.
On LinkedIn, he described how he had helped try to resuscitate the 12-year-old girl who was pulled from the water, and who later died.
Speaking to MailOnline, he criticised those who stood by filming the attempts to save lives.
“Those videoing the desperate CPR attempts should think long and hard at their actions,” he said. “The tragic death of a child is not something anyone should voyeuristically observe.”
He added that he has “never seen anything as bad as this” in his 18-year career, which has included time working in A&E.
“It was utterly exceptional and harrowing,” he told MailOnline. “They were carrying out CPR on two children while searching the water for others.
“There were police, paramedics, doctors, the RNLI. They did everything they could for those children. It’s a terrible tragedy.”
Eyewitness Nicola Holton, who had been on the beach with her partner and their two children when the tragedy happened, described it as “like a scene from a horror film”.
Speaking to MailOnline, she recalled “loads of idiots ignoring lifeguard requests to get out of the water and clear the beach”.
“People were running towards those having CPR filming on their phones,” she added.
On LinkedIn, Dr Rosa praised lifeguards who were manning the beach on Wednesday for their “exceptional” response.
“Many of the lifeguards on the beach were teenagers themselves and despite their training would not have encountered such a scene, let alone having to resuscitate two children simultaneously whilst actively searching for others in a crowded sea.
“These young lifeguards did everything asked of them, they didn’t panic, there was no hysteria, they were exceptional and they followed instruction to the letter whilst taking their own initiative.”
Details of the tragedy remain unclear, but police shed further light on what happened at a press conference on Wednesday.
Putting to bed swirling speculation, Dorset Police Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Farrell said: “Early investigation indicates that there was no physical contact between a vessel and any of the swimmers at the time of the incident.
“I can also confirm there is no suggestion of people jumping from the pier or jet-skis being involved.”
For everything we know about the tragedy so far, click here.