Tributes to 12-year-old girl killed in beach tragedy while swimming with brother
Tributes have been paid to an “angel” schoolgirl who was pictured after she died in a tragedy on Bournemouth beach.
Sunnah Khan, 12, was remembered as a popular young student who was looking forward to a bright future.
Sunnah, of High Wycombe, Bucks, was swimming with her brother when the horror unfolded.
A family friend said: “She will be missed by everyone, she was very popular and her death will leave a hole that will be impossible to fill.
“She had so much more to look forward to. She was an angel.”
More than 200 friends and family gathered at Sunnah’s funeral on Saturday at the Central Mosque in High Wycombe.
Mohammed Rafiq, 65, a trustee at the Wycombe Islamic Mission and Mosque, said people travelled from towns across the region to pay their respects to Sunnah.
He told The Sun: “What happened is tragic for the family. They are very hard-working and well respected here, this is a close-knit community.
“There were hundreds of people who came to the funeral, the queue was overflowing.”
Sunnah was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition alongside the teen lad, of Southampton, Hants, before both children died.
The other swimmers were treated at the scene.
Sunnah travelled to the seaside town with her brother for a half-term getaway on one of the hottest days of the year.
One of her family members said: “She was an absolute force of nature, liked by all and loved by so many.
“She will be so sorely missed by her parents, siblings and friends.
“There are no words to describe the hole she has left in all of our hearts but we will remember her every day for the rest of our lives.”
It emerged on Saturday that more heroic teenagers battled to save their lives after hearing beachgoers’ screams at around 4pm.
Brave Kaiden Andre, 15, of Basingstoke, Hants, was swimming with pals when he heard the cries of a man shouting for help.
He tried to drag a man and woman to the shore before guiding the pair to safety with his friend Iona, who is a strong swimmer.
His mum Jody said: “Kaiden said to me he has never known the sea to be that choppy.
“When I saw my child get off the train back home, knowing that someone had lost their child, I cannot tell you how that felt.
“His instinct was just to help but it really did scare him. We can’t believe the bravery that he showed.”
Cops continued to search the Dorset Belle on Saturday - with the 78ft sightseeing boat still under guard in Poole Harbour.
The boat visited Bournemouth Pier minutes before the first 999 calls were made, according to boat tracker site Marine Traffic.
A man in his 40s - who was “on the water” at the time - was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and released under investigation on Thursday.