THE mother of two teenagers who died after struggling in the sea told an inquest how the sand gave way beneath her feet as she rushed into the water to help.

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 found they died as the result of an accident.

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

The teenagers’ mother spoke at the inquest via an interpreter.

She told how she waded out into the water to try and help and called on the council to provide ‘child-friendly’ signs.

She said: “Has the council ever considered or thought about child-friendly signs as well – something that talks more to children and younger people getting into the waters.

“I also entered the water to try and help some of the children.

“Even as I was trying to reach this little girl who was clinging on to her precious life, the sand underneath my feet kept giving way.

“It was like I had no control.

“The sand was giving way beneath my feet as I was trying to reach this little girl.

“This happened within minutes.

“Because of that the water rose quickly.”

Mr Carran said signs are in place warning of the dangers of swimming near the groynes and flags show where the beach patrol operates.

He said a safety forum set up in the wake of the death of Ben Quartermaine, 15, in 2018, had helped to ensure swimming lessons were provided to 2,000 youngsters.

Mr Carran added the council is looking at handing out sea safety leaflets to passengers on some coaches bound for the seaside, as well as printing safety information on the back of train tickets.

“We did have an independent signage audit done in September 2018 and that audit came back to say our signs meet national standards,” he said.