Serious crime police officers were today patrolling a beach on quad bikes where three men were injured in a suspected samurai sword attack.
Daytrippers heading to Formby Beach in Sefton, Merseyside, were stopped by officers and asked if they had been there on the day of the bloodshed.
Witnesses had described an axe being used, but police said none of the injuries are consistent with axe wounds.
Forensic officers were also seen combing the sands for clues in the cordoned off section as colleagues were on hand to reassure the public.
Uniformed police prevented the hundreds enjoying the Bank Holiday sun from getting too close to the scene.
Merseyside Police have confirmed the vicious stabbing was ‘unprovoked’.
A 20-year-old man is in a critical but stable condition in hospital.
Police officers were today patrolling a beach on quad bikes where three men were injured in the ‘unprovoked’ attack
Merseyside Police were asking visitors about the stabbing as a 20-year-old man was in critical but stable condition in hospital
The picturesque beach, which is near to the homes of millionaire footballers, was an unusual spot for a police probe
The two other victims, aged 20 and 16, are described as being in a serious but not life-threatening condition.
Emergency services were called to Formby Beach in Sefton, Merseyside at around 7.10pm on Sunday.
Claire Ennis, who was with her two daughters, said: ‘It makes me shudder to think that this has happened in such a open and public place.
‘Families come here to enjoy themselves. It must have been horrendous for those who witnessed it.
Kate Hope, who was out with family members, said: ‘The police on the way in if we were on the beach yesterday.
‘I’m glad we weren’t as that is not something you’d like to see.
Forensic officers were seen at the beach in protective gear sifting through the sands for clues during Bank Holiday Monday
The two other victims, aged 20 and 16, are described as being in a serious but not life-threatening condition this morning
As cars came towards the beach motorists were asked if they had been there yesterday and saw any of the attacks
‘It’s strange to see officers on the beach while children are running round having fun.
Hundreds of people headed to Formby beach for what was expected to be the hottest day of the year so far.
Detective Superintendent Mark Baker said: ‘We believe that this was an unprovoked attack.
‘Last night, officers spoke to a large number of people who were leaving the beach to gather vital intelligence. Every piece of information we are given is vital to our investigation, so I’d like to ask anyone who saw what happened to come forward as soon as possible.
‘We understand that this shocking event will cause considerable distress to the community in Sefton, and we are working around the clock to identify who was responsible and bring them to justice.
‘After many difficult months, it was good to see people out enjoying themselves at the beach yesterday. The fact that three young people have been attacked in this way is truly shocking and disappointing, and our officers will be increasing patrols in the area over the coming days and weeks.’