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The teenager, 14, was attacked shortly after 8.30am on Saturday at the facilities, with emergency services receiving reports of the incident later that day, Dorset Police said.
The man being questioned by officers is 51 years old.
Neighbourhood Chief Inspector Darren Harris, of the BCP Local Policing Area, said there would be an increased police presence along the seafront, including the popular Dorset attraction, this spring and summer.
He urged members of the public in need of help to approach officers, council staff and the RNLI teams with any concerns.
He said: “We are continuing to work collaboratively with BCP Council and other partner agencies to ensure we have an increased visible presence along the seafront and these efforts will continue throughout the rest of the spring and summer.
“Police officers, police community support offices, Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) officers and council staff can be approached by members of the public with any concerns.
“RNLI lifeguards and staff can also be approached, with their beach towers serving as a safe place to address concerns or seek further help.”
Detective Chief Inspector Ross Graham, of Bournemouth CID, said: “We are doing all we can to support the victim in this case and his family is being kept fully updated.
“We are carrying out a detailed investigation into this matter and our inquiries remain ongoing.”
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