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Beaches alert as girl pulled from Margate Harbour dies in hospital

By Henry Vaughan

People have been urged to take care in the water after a six-year-old girl died at a seaside town in England.

The girl, from Erith in Kent, was taken to hospital from Margate Harbour in Kent on Saturday afternoon.

The South East Coast Ambulance Service and the RNLI were part of the rescue effort.

A spokeswoman for the ambulance service said the girl had been taken to the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, in a serious condition. Kent Police confirmed yesterday that she had died.

The force added: "Her next of kin have been informed.

"There are no suspicious circumstances and a report is being prepared for the coroner."

One local man said the beach was "heaving" with tourists on what he described as a warm but windy day.

He said he saw emergency services "swarm" the harbour in their effort to rescue the girl.

The father-of-three, who did not want to give his name, said he found the incident "very upsetting". He added: "(It) makes me want to avoid going in the water."

It is the latest death in recent days involving people getting into difficulties in water.

Two bodies were recovered on Saturday in separate incidents.

The body of a 15-year-old teenager, provisionally named as Ben Quartermaine, was found near Clacton Pier in Essex after a search which began on Thursday.

In Bedfordshire the body of a man in his late 20s was recovered from the Great Ouse river after reports someone had got into difficulty there on Friday afternoon.

James Uren, RNLI area manager for North Kent, said: "If anyone is coming to the beach over the summer holidays we ask them to take a moment when they arrive on the beach to stop and have a look at the signage, the flagged areas the lifeguards have put out, and try and find a meeting point so if anyone becomes separated they can find each other.

"We also ask them to heed any information that comes out over the tannoys."

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