Two teenagers who got into trouble in the sea at Clacton died as a result of an accident, an inquest has found.

Haider Ali, 18, and Malika Shamas, 14, were pulled from the sea after getting into difficulty near a groyne sea defence off Clacton.

The siblings' cousin, a 15-year-old girl, was also pulled from the water, but later made a full recovery.

Haider and Malika, who could both swim, later died in Colchester General Hospital.

An inquest held at Chelmsford Coroner’s Court heard how the nearest beach patrol officer surveying the waters was 375 meters away on West Beach.

Mike Carran, head of sport and leisure at Tendring Council, said: “At around 1.25pm a member of the public presented to beach patrol at West Beach and informed member of the team there were two people in difficulty on the Palace Breakwater.”

One member of the beach patrol rushed to the scene via quad bike, while others used a jet ski to survey the waters.

Members of the beach patrol and emergency service teams repeatedly performed CPR on the two youngsters before they were taken to hospital.

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Craig Wiggins said the two siblings and two of their cousins had been playing a game when disaster struck.

“The first account was from the other two children involved in the incident,” he said.

“Both provided consistent versions of events.

“They say Malika, while in the sea, entered into difficulties and then panicked.

“As Haider and one of the other children attempted to assist her, she pulled them in.

“All four of them were playing a game, trying to see who could go the furthest into the sea.

“When the incident happened she was at a point where she was actually able to stand up.

“I spoke to members of the public and their account seemed to be in accord with that.”

He said Malika was swimming in a summer dress, with a vest top underneath, while Haider was wearing shorts and a short-sleeve T-shirt.

The inquest heard the family had been visiting Clacton for a day at the seaside, arriving via coach from their Luton home.

Senior Coroner Caroline Beasley Murray recorded a conclusion both children died as a result of an accident.

She also said she would be issuing a prevention of future death report to deal with the matter of signs at Clacton beach.

She said: “This court is considering writing a report dealing with the matter of the signage, both the signage near the groynes and the signage I would like to see included near the pier.”

She said some of the warnings included on signs could be in a larger print.

“The court would also like the council to see whether there is any possibility of producing child-friendly signage,” she added.