ANY steps necessary will be taken to help prevent further tragedy along the coastline following the death of two siblings.

That was the pledge from Tendring Council leader Neil Stock after three youngsters were pulled from the sea off Clacton.

Malika Shamas, 14, from Luton, died on Thursday. Her brother Haider Shamas, 18, died in hospital on Saturday.

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

Tendring Council employs a team of 30 beach patrol officers who operate across the district’s coastline throughout the summer months.

Members of the team were some of the first to help the stricken teens.


  • The beach after emergency services had left the scene

But the tragedy has led to renewed calls for clearer signs along the beach highlighting the dangers of sea swimming.

Mr Stock said: “It is easy to say more could have been done or we could spend money on it by employing another six, 30, 100 beach patrollers.

“But we have 36 miles of coastline and a lot of ground to cover and there is a limit to what we can do.

“We can’t fence off the beaches, we can’t stop people going in the sea.

“If people have ideas and suggestions we will, of, course take them on board.

“Our staff, our officers, were flat out over this throughout the day.

“I was in a meeting with the chief executive, who dropped everything and headed straight down there.

“Some of the beach patrollers are just school kids doing this in the summer holidays.

“It is pretty damn harrowing for them. They get paid for it, but they do it because they have a sense of public service and duty and our support and sympathy must be with them too.”

He added: “If we need more signs up it is a fairly easy thing to do.

“If we have to cover every square inch in signs to stop this happening again then we will.

“But will it help? People at the beach are not typically looking to read signs and are aware of the dangers.

“It goes without saying we will listen to the emergency services. If they say we don’t have enough signs, or we should have more life rings, or anything like that, then we will take their recommendations.

“The beach isn’t the council’s sole responsibility, but it is our duty to make it safe and pleasant environment.

“I think everyone involved with the council can feel this sense of guilt when this happens on our watch but we put our beach patrols in to make it as safe as is possible.”

Mr Stock praised the rapid response of all the emergency 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.”