Three men have been airlifted to hospital after an axe and samurai sword were reportedly used during a fight on Formby beach in Merseyside.
An air ambulance was called to the National Trust beauty spot on Sunday evening, after what police called a “horrific incident”.
A witness 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.”
Emergency services were called to the beach, 14 miles north of Liverpool, at about 7.10pm.
Detective Superintendent Mark Baker, from Merseyside Police, said: “At this early stage we believe that these incidents are linked, but are keeping an open mind as to the motives behind them.”
He said officers remained at the scene and appealed for any witnesses to come forward.
“It is appalling and sad that on a sunny day like today when people have been out enjoying themselves, we are patrolling our beaches after such a horrific incident,” said Mr Baker.
“Knife crime has no place whatsoever in our communities and we’re doing everything we can to bring the offender to justice.”
Anyone with information can reach police on @MerPolCC on Twitter, ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ on Facebook, or anonymously via Crimestoppers.