Dewsbury brothers Muhammad Azhar Shabbir, 18, (left) and his brother Ali Athar Shabbir, 16, tragically died on a family day out (Picture: Lancashire Police)
The parents of two teenage brothers who drowned during a family day out at the Lancashire seaside have thanked those who helped in the search for their bodies.
Muhammad Azhar Shabbir, 18, and Ali Athar Shabbir, 16, died after getting into difficulty in the water close to St Annes Pier in Lytham St Annes on 15th August.
The bodies of both teenagers, from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, were found the next day around a mile from the pier, following a major search involving emergency services, coastguard rescue teams and members of the public.
A statement on behalf of their parents said: “Mr and Mrs Shabbir and their family want to express their greatest thanks and appreciation to everyone that helped them that day.
“This includes the emergency services, Lytham St Annes RNLI, the Southport Lifeboat crew, the Coastguard, police on duty that day, Beth and her husband, who went into the sea to try and find their boys, other members of the public who tried to help them, staff at St Annes Travelodge and the receptionist who paid for additional family that arrived the next day to stay.”
Undated handout photo issued by Southport Lifeboat of one of their crews during the search and rescue mission to find Muhammad Azhar Shabbir, 18, and Ali Athar Shabbir, 16, after they went missing at sea off the Fylde coast in Lancashire.
The parents also extended their thanks to people in their local community, including the schools, “for their continuous support with their other children”.
Among others, they also thanked their local mosque, Masjid Uthman, for helping accommodate guests within social distancing guidelines.
Following the discovery of the bodies, an uncle of the brothers added the family had been left “shocked and devastated” by what had happened.
A 15-year-old boy, who is their cousin, had managed to swim to the shore and was taken to hospital for treatment.