Tributes paid to 17-year-old Joe Abbess who died at Bournemouth beach - ‘We were privileged to have him

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The family of a 17-year-old who died following a major incident at Bournemouth beach last week have paid tribute saying they are “heartbroken and devastated”

Tributes have been paid to 17-year-old trainee chef Joe Abbess, who died after getting into difficulty in the sea in Bournemouth on May 31. The family of the teenager, who is from Southampton, say they are “heartbroken and devastated”.

His family said: “He was a wonderful son and brother who is sadly missed. His family and friends will always love him and we are incredibly proud of the fabulous young man he was. He was kind and generous, loving and caring, hardworking and funny.

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“Joe was a talented trainee chef, with a bright future ahead of him. We were privileged to have him in our lives for 17 years and we are so sorry he will never fulfil his dreams and ambitions.

“He was enjoying a day at the beach on Wednesday and we would like to thank his friends and all of the emergency services who helped him, when this tragedy unfolded.”

Joe was one of two people who died following the major incident at the tourist hotspot near Bournemouth pier. The other child who died was 12-year-old Sunnah Khan, whose funeral was held at High Wycombe Mosque near her home in Buckinghamshire.

A man, who is in his 40s and was ‘on the water’ at the time of the incident was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and released under investigation on Thursday (June 1) while inquiries continue.