Police are hunting a man who raped a 15-year-old girl in the sea in front of thousands of unsuspecting bathers over the weekend.
The victim was approached by the attacker when a ball she and her friends were playing with in the sea landed close to him.
He threw it back but began talking to the schoolgirl before pulling her out into deeper water close to Bournemouth Pier, Dorset.
Despite there being crowds of people in the water and on the pier, the young man then raped the girl under the cover of the water.
The victim was approached by her attacker when a ball she and her friends were playing with in the sea landed close to him in Bournemouth (pictured on Sunday)
The shocking incident happened at about 3.30pm on Sunday on what was the hottest day of the year when Bournemouth beach was packed.
The girl later reported the attack to the police who are appealing for people who took photos and video around the pier area.
The attacker told his victim he was aged 17 and had travelled to the Dorset coast from Birmingham.
He is described as possibly of Pakistani descent and with tanned skin, between 5ft and 5ft 7ins tall and of a thin but muscular build with short dark hair.
He was wearing black or grey swimming shorts at the time.
Detective Inspector Wayne Seymour, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: ‘A full investigation is underway into this incident and we are continuing to support the victim while we carry out enquiries.
‘I know that the beach was very busy on the day of the incident so I am appealing to anyone who was in the area and may have witnessed what happened to please come forward.
The attacker threw her ball back but began talking to the schoolgirl before pulling her out into deeper water close to Bournemouth Pier (pictured on Sunday)
‘Also, I would urge anyone who was on the beach in the vicinity of the Oceanarium to check any photographs or video footage taken to see if they have captured anything of relevance.
‘I am particularly keen to speak to anyone who recognises the boy from the description given or may have seen him on the beach on Sunday.
‘This incident will understandably cause concern for the wider community and we would like to remind the public that officers from the local neighbourhood policing team will be carrying out patrols in the area and can be approached with any concerns.’