Family of brothers who drowned off Lancashire coast issue heartfelt message

Brothers Muhammad-Azhar Shabbir, 18, and Ali-Athar Shabbir, 16, drowned off the coast of St Annes. Credit: Family handout

The parents of two brothers who drowned off the coast of Lytham St Annes have issued a heartfelt thank you to those who helped in the search for their bodies last month.

Brothers, Muhammad-Azhar Shabbir, 18, and Ali-Athar Shabbir, 16, from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, drowned after getting into difficulty in the water on August 15.

The bodies of Muhammad-Azhar and Ali-Athar were found a day later, around a mile from St Annes Pier in Lancashire.

Their parents have today paid tribute to the emergency services and local community for their support.

A statement, on behalf of Muhammad-Azhar and Ali-Athar's 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.

“Mr and Mrs Shabbir would also like to thank people in their community, including the schools, for their continuous support with their other children, local Mosque Masjid Uthman, who helped accommodate guests and keep within the social distancing rules, the Fisabilillah Burial service which is also a volunteer and donation run service, neighbours who have put donations together for the RNLI, Muhammad-Azhar and Ali-Athar's friends who also put together donations to build wells for people without access to water in Muhammed-Azhar and Ali-Athar’s names."