AN 18-year-old man remains in a critical condition after three people were rescued from the sea off Clacton.

Three teenagers, all related, were pulled from the water by brave beachgoers and Tendring Council's beach patrol team yesterday at around 1.30pm.

Essex Police confirmed a 14-year-old girl later died in hospital.

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

Neil Stock, leader of Tendring Council, directed praise towards every arm of the emergeny services.

“My reaction to this, like everyone else’s, is a human one," he said.

“This was a girl who was likely enjoying a fantastic day out with family, and she won’t be going home.

“My heart goes out to her family, friends and siblings following what is an awful tragedy.

“It is shocking.

“I have kids that age myself.

“It is difficult to comment in any meaningful way on the circumstances as we don’t know what happened here.

“From what I understand the beach patrol were some of the first on the scene and administered CPR and without the beach patrol guys it would have been a lot worse than it was.

“I am aware there is not much comfort to be had in that.

“Clacton is an incredibly popular holiday destination during the school holidays, we have had fantastic weather.

“Our coastline in the district continues for 36 miles and we have a beach patrol team, but we also have limited resources as does any other council.

“The beach patrol simply cannot be everywhere all of the time covering every inch of beach.

“I think it is something we looked at really hard after last year and this is not something we are flippant about.

“We are very serious about the issue of water safety.

“We have done more since then and without knowing what happened it is difficult to comment at this stage."

The tragedy comes just a year after Ben Quartermaine, 15, died after he was caught in dangerous currents near to Clacton Pier.