A GIRL has died and a teenager was left fighting for his life after getting into difficulty in the sea off Clacton.

Three teenagers were pulled from the water by brave beachgoers after getting in trouble on Clacton beach this afternoon.

Emergency services, including the Coastguard, Clacton RNLI, beach patrol, paramedics, police and three air ambulances, were called called to beach, near West Greensward, at about 1.35pm.

Acting Det Supt Paul Wells said: “At this early stage, we believe that three teenagers got into difficulty at sea and were recovered from the water.

“A teenage boy and and girl were taken to hospital in a critical condition.

“Of these, a 14-year-old girl has died in hospital, an 18-year old man is stable but remains in a critical condition, and a 15-year-old girl is expected to make a full recovery.

“The three casualties are related. Immediate family members have been informed and are at hospital.

“We are continuing to support the family at this unimaginably difficult time and are working closely with our partners."

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Three teens were pulled from the water at Clacton beach

“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.

“We thank you for your support as we work to establish what happened.”

A man, named locally as Craig, was fishing next to the beach where he spotted the teenagers in trouble.

He rushed in and pulled one of the teenagers out of the sea before carrying out CPR.

The modest hero did not want to speak about the incident, but added: “I am in shock really. I just did what anyone would do in that situation.”

Witnesses reported an off-duty fireman, named only as Chris, also performed CPR on one of the other teenagers for 25 minutes.

One said: “There appeared to be a few people around taking in turns to try and save them but the firefighter just wouldn’t give up.

“He didn’t stop until the paramedics took over.”

Another witness added: “I was on the seafront when all of a sudden there was a commotion on the beach. I ran down and saw the lifeboat.

“A fireman who was off duty, who just happened to be around, was pumping one of them for 25 minutes until paramedics took over. He looked exhausted.

“All of a sudden there was a third person on the beach.

“Once the paramedics realised the enormity of the situation, it tuned into organised chaos with all the different emergency services running around.

“They were all working so damned hard.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Response - emergency service on the beach in Clacton

Stuart Elms, clinical director at Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, said: “Earlier today both of Essex & Herts Air Ambulance’s helicopters were tasked, along with one from East Anglian Air Ambulance, to attend a serious incident in Clacton.

“All the emergency services present worked together to provide best care for the patients. Our critical care teams accompanied two patients, along with the East of England Ambulance Service paramedics, to the nearest emergency department. A third patient was treated by EAAA and EEAST.”

Richard Wigley, spokesman for Clacton RNLI, said the town’s volunteer lifeboat crew was also called to the scene by the coastguard.

“The D-class lifeboat made its way towards the pier, but it was flagged down by beach patrol staff to the beach in front of West Greensward,” he said.

“But when they arrived, three casualties were already out of the water and were being treated by paramedics.

“The lifeboat was tasked to look for a fourth person in the water, before being stood down.”

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

A spokesman for Tendring Council said the thoughts of everyone at the council were with those involved in the incident.

“Our beach patrol was part of the rescue operation and our thoughts are with the family and friends of those involved in the incident,” he said.