UPDATE: Bournemouth drowning victim’s Mum still doesn’t know how she died

Joe Abbess and Sunnah Khan who drowned on May 31, 2023.

BREAKING: Dead boy named in Bournemouth beach drowning Credit: Facebook/Dorset Police and Facebook/Birmingham Live

Updated: Monday, June 5 at 5:05 pm

Sunnah Khan, 12, died alongside Joe Abbess, 17, in the sea in Bournemouth on May 31, but her mother, Stephanie Williams,  says she knows very little about how her daughter’s tragic death came about. 

Ms Williams shared these heart-wrenching photos of her daughter smiling on Twitter saying:  “On Wednesday I lost my beautiful daughter at Bournemouth beach. Sunnah was so well-loved and well-liked. No parent should ever have to go through what her dad and I are going through. We love you so much baby girl.”

Sunnah’s devastated mother, Stephanie, told the Sun that she had demanded that police tell her what happened that fateful day, but all she currently has is the information that Sunnah drowned with no particular cause. ‘

This doesn’t seem to ring true or to be a fair response to the mother, as Sunnah died in the same incident that took the life of Joe Abess and injured eight others, suggesting there was a root cause that affected all involved.

Local Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood called for clarity on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme saying:

“We do need to understand, learn lessons from this, provide clarity early on, just so people can have an assurance of mind as to what roughly happened, and then make their own assessments as to whether it’s safe to go or whether they should move away.”

Dorset Police continue to call for witnesses to come forward in this baffling and tragic incident.

Sunday, June 4 at 7:07 pm

Dorset Police have today, June 4th released a picture and statement regarding Joe Abbess, the 17-year-old boy who got into trouble in the sea in Bournemouth and died on May 31. Sunnah Khan, the 12-year-old girl who died in the same incident was also paid tribute to. 

The massage can be seen as posted by Dorset Police on Facebook, reading:

“The boy from Southampton, who tragically died on Wednesday 31 May 2023 following an incident in the water in Bournemouth, is being named by his family as 17-year-old Joe Abbess. The family has now issued the below tribute to him.

“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.”
The 12-year-old girl who also died that day has been named as Sunnah Khan and this tribute to her was posted by Birmingham Live on Facebook:
“Tributes have been paid to an ‘angel’ schoolgirl who died while swimming off Bournemouth beach with her brother.
Sunnah Khan, from Buckinghamshire, lost her life after getting into difficulty in the sea at the Dorset resort on Wednesday.
The 12-year-old was pulled from the water and airlifted to hospital in a critical condition before dying shortly after.”
Investigations are ongoing into what happened that day, with a man originally arrested on suspicion of manslaughter but later released. Other theories included riptides and powerful currents. A collision has been ruled out by police and as has the idea that people were jumping from the pier.
In a tragic incident that took the lives of these two youngsters, and hospitalised others enjoying their half-term break, there are few and vague details of what actually happened that day. We aim to keep you up to date as we find out more.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

David Laycock

Dave Laycock has always written. Poems, songs, essays, academic papers as well as newspaper articles; the written word has always held a great fascination for him and he is never happier than when being creative. From a musical background, Dave has travelled the world performing and also examining for a British music exam board. He also writes, produces and performs and records music. All this aside, he is currently fully focussed on his journalism and can’t wait to share more stories from around the world and beyond.