Essex

Clacton sea deaths: Hundreds attend funeral

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

Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of two siblings who died after getting into difficulty in the sea.

Fourteen-year-old Malika Shamas, from Luton, was pulled from the sea at Clacton, Essex, on 8 August and died later at hospital.

She had been in the water with her brother Haider Shamas, 18, who died on Saturday, and a cousin who survived.

Family members from Pakistan travelled to attend the funeral, with others travelling from across the UK.

Earlier on Wednesday, Essex Coroner's Court heard Haider died on Saturday from pneumonia and brain damage brought on by immersion in the water.

Essex's coroner's officer Jemma Cook said a lifeguard performed CPR on Malika and she was taken to Colchester General Hospital with Haider.

A post-mortem examination recorded her provisional cause of death as immersion.

Image caption Hundreds of people turned out to attend the pair's funeral at Luton Central Mosque
Image caption People travelled from as far afield as Pakistan in order to attend Wednesday's funeral

Toxicology tests were being carried out, the inquest in Chelmsford was told.

Essex's senior coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray adjourned the inquests until February.

She offered the court's sympathy to the teenagers' family "at this dreadful time".

The siblings' cousin, a 15-year-old girl, was also pulled from the water. She is expected to make a full recovery.

The three got into difficulty near Clacton Pier at about 13:40 BST.

Image copyright Shamas family
Image caption Malika died from immersion, the inquest heard
Image copyright Shamas photo
Image caption Haider died two days after his sister

Witnesses described distressing scenes as lifeguards and paramedics scrambled to help the three teenagers after they were spotted struggling near Marine Parade.

Several members of the public supported the rescue effort.

The teenagers' father Shamas Riaz has urged parents to make sure their children can swim.

In a letter to parents at Denbigh High School, which Malika attended and where Haider had been a pupil, head teacher Donna Neely-Hayes addressed the "great sadness" of their deaths.

On Thursday, the school will open from 10:00 until 14:00 BST to allow students who knew the teenagers to receive support.

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