Three men have been airlifted to hospital with stab wounds after an “unprovoked attack” at Formby beach in Merseyside.
One of the victims, a 20-year-old man, is in a critical but stable condition. The conditions of the other two men, Envejecido 16 y 20, are described as serious but not life-threatening.
Emergency services were called to the beach at 7.10pm on Sunday after reports of three stabbings. Inquiries are being made but police believe the “shocking” incidents are linked. Detectives have appealed for witnesses to come forward.
Witnesses said a man was attacked with a samurai sword and an axe during the incident at the National Trust site. One told the Liverpool Echo: “The lad who was losing the fight pulled out an axe and hit the other lad with it. His mate then pulled out a samurai sword and used that too. It was bad.”
The beach was closed shortly after police arrived, with people asked to give their details as they left.
The beach is located in one of Merseyside’s most exclusive areas and a heavy police presence remained in place on nearby Victoria Road, Merseyside’s most expensive street, which is home to a number of millionaires and Premier League footballers as well as the Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp.
Officers remained at the scene on Monday morning to monitor the situation on what was expected to be another busy day as families flocked to the beach to enjoy the bank holiday sunshine.
The incident came after the National Trust threatened to close the beach to the public last summer as antisocial parties and large amounts of litter were said to pose a threat to the local environment.
Det Supt 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.”