Essex

Clacton sea deaths: Dad pays tribute to children

Malika and Haider Shamas Image copyright Shamas photo
Image caption Malika Shamas, 14 and her brother Haider, 18, died after being rescued from the sea off Clacton

The father of two teenagers who died after getting into difficulties in the sea has urged parents to make sure their children can swim.

Haider Shamas, 18, and sibling Malika, 14, from Luton, were rescued off the coast of Clacton, Essex, on Thursday.

Malika died hours later while Haider died on Saturday.

Their father Shamas Riaz said: "I miss both of them. We were close, very close. It's a big shock."

Image caption Shamaz Riaz said Malika was "very happy" about a trip to Clacton

When asked what he would say to other parents, Mr Riaz said: "Be careful where you go. If you don't know if your child can swim, make sure they definitely can swim."

A 15-year-old girl, who is a relative, was also pulled from the sea with the pair. She is expected to recover.

Image copyright Shamas family
Image caption Malika Shamas liked making new friends, her father says

Mr Riaz said Malika "liked going out and doing different things".

"She liked making new friends and she made other people happy."

Mr Riaz said Haider liked sport and to study.

Image copyright Shamas photo
Image caption Haider Shamas died two days after his sister

A witness said the three teenagers had been with a group of up to 30 people at the beach.

Onlookers tried to help the siblings after they were pulled from the water, with some performing CPR on the beach until ambulances arrived.

Image caption The council says extra signs are not necessarily the answer to preventing tragedies

Tendring District Council has said it will review water safety at the beach.

Last July, Ben Quartermaine, 15, died after getting into difficulty while swimming with a friend near Clacton Pier.

His mother and stepfather Vicky and Colin Gentry said a lack of warning signs in Clacton was "one of the main issues".

They also called for better education for "all year groups in all schools, whether coastal or not".

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