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Clacton swimming deaths: Teenage girl died of immersion, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 11:24 14 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:24 14 August 2019

Chelmsford Coroners Court. The inquest into the deaths of Malika Shamas and Haider Ali was opened in August 14 Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Chelmsford Coroners Court. The inquest into the deaths of Malika Shamas and Haider Ali was opened in August 14 Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

An inquest into the deaths of a brother and sister who got into difficulty swimming off the coast of Clacton has opened.

Air ambulances, paramedics, police and the RNLI all went to the aid of the three teenagers in the sea near Clacton on August 8 Picture: DANIEL KINGHAMAir ambulances, paramedics, police and the RNLI all went to the aid of the three teenagers in the sea near Clacton on August 8 Picture: DANIEL KINGHAM

Malika Shamas, 14, from Luton, was on a family trip to Clacton-on-Sea and got into difficulty in the water with her brother Haider Ali, 18, and a cousin, Wednesday's hearing in Chelmsford was told at the opening of an inquest on August 14.

Malika died of immersion and her older brother died two days later of pneumonia, brain damage and drowning, the inquest heard.

Coroner's officer Jemma Cook said Malika was pulled from the water on August 8 and a lifeguard performed CPR on her.

She was taken to Colchester General Hospital where she died later that day. Mr Ali died on August 10.

Mr Ali was also pulled from the water and was found to be in cardiac arrest, Ms Cook said.

Essex Police said a 15-year-old girl, a cousin of Mr Ali and Malika, was also pulled from the water and is expected to make a full recovery.

A post-mortem examination recorded Malika's provisional cause of death as immersion and toxicology tests are being carried out.

Haider's provisional cause of death was recorded as pneumonia and brain damage, with drowning given as a contributory factor.

Essex's senior coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray, opening and adjourning the two inquests, said: "Please let the court's sympathy be extended to the family at this dreadful time."

Acting Detective Superintendent Paul Wells, of Essex Police, said after the incident: "We would like to thank members of the public and our emergency service colleagues who responded really quickly and worked incredibly hard to help the teenagers.

"We would also like to thank members of the public who showed respect to the casualties and their families and who gave the emergency services space to work."

The incident happened little more than a year after 15-year-old Ben Quartermaine went missing for two days in the water close to Clacton Pier.

A full inquest has been set for February 17.

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