Weather warnings as rescuers search for missing angler

Some people took to canoes and surfboards to ride the Severn Bore, despite official warnings to stay away

Forecasters are warning of further gales and heavy rain to come, as a search continues for an angler who went missing in bad weather.

Elsewhere, six fishermen were rescued by helicopter after their boat was damaged by a huge wave.

Three severe flood warnings, meaning there is a danger to life, have been issued.

The Environment Agency said the flood risk would continue over the next week.

Two of the severe flood warnings are in place on the Severn estuary, near Gloucester. The third covers the south Cornwall coast between Land's End and Plymouth.

Rescue teams are searching for the sea angler who was night fishing off the Aberdeenshire coast when he went missing in the early hours of the morning.

The man was at Tangle-Ha, north of St Cyrus, when he disappeared from rocks in rough conditions.

In Cornwall, a crew of French and Portuguese fishermen had to be winched from the sea by an RNAS Culdrose helicopter on Saturday. Their boat had foundered in dire weather conditions off the north Cornish coast.

Le Sillon on rocks near Porthcothon The wrecked fishing boat was washed ashore and onto rocks near Porthcothon
Padstow lifeboat in heavy seas Rescuers from the Royal Navy and RNLI had to contend with 60mph winds and 30ft (9m) waves

All six are recovering at the Fisherman's Mission in Newlyn and were described by a coastguard spokesman as being "shaken but mostly unharmed" after their ordeal.

'Enormous sympathy'

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said the government's emergency committee, Cobra, met again on Sunday "to ensure that all government departments, local authorities and agencies are working in unison".

"I have enormous sympathy for those who have been affected again this weekend and the government is working with all local councils to help communities recover," he said.

He added: "With the severe weather predicted to continue, public safety is paramount and I urge everyone to pay close attention to the warnings of the emergency services and the Environment Agency."

BBC Weather's Peter Gibbs said there was no sign of any respite in the weather in the coming week, with more disruption possible in many areas.

A crowd gathered as the River Parrett on the Somerset Levels burst its banks

He said Wales and parts of south-west England would be affected on Monday with up to 20mm of rain in places, but worse was to come in the middle of the week.

"There will be a fairly major storm coming in from the Atlantic on Tuesday night going into Wednesday," he said.

Weather information

Two people in rain ponchos in Edinburgh

"There will be widespread gales and heavy rain and there is the potential for disruption from that system.

"It is a fairly extensive system and most parts of the UK will be affected."

At high tide on Sunday, waves were driven onto the seafront at Aberystwyth on the Ceredigion coast for the second time this year.

Aberystwyth suffered flooding and damage to the promenade a month ago and repairs have just been finished.

Some 600 university students living on the seafront were either re-housed or accepted the offer to travel home or to another part of the UK for the weekend.

In Newgale, Pembrokeshire, 10 people were rescued after the bus they were travelling in was hit by a large wave on the seafront and surrounded by water. No injuries were reported.

A bus stranded in Newgale, west Wales Ten people were rescued after the bus they were travelling in was hit by a large wave in Pembrokeshire
Waves crashing against sea defences at Aberystwyth Further north on the Welsh coast, waves crashed over the sea defences in Aberystwyth
Surfers riding the Severn Bore in Newnham Surfers in Newnham took advantage of the rare five-star Severn Bore on Sunday morning
A woman climbing out of the way of the Severn Bore Spectators have been criticised for standing too close to the wave
Large waves in Porthcawl, South Wales Christopher James sent in this picture of early morning waves hitting Porthcawl seafront in South Wales

The Environment Agency has issued more than 90 flood warnings and more than 230 flood alerts, with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency saying there are 14 flood alerts, meaning flooding is possible, in Scotland and three flood warnings, meaning flooding is expected, in Tayside.

Kate Marks, the Environment Agency's flood risk manager, said: "Further wind and waves along the coast as well as another band of heavy rain this week could lead to further flooding throughout this week, especially in the south of England.

"We would urge people to again stay away from coastlines and tidal areas and not drive through flood water.

"With further severe weather conditions expected in the coming days, the Environment Agency is likely to issue further warnings so people should check their flood risk and get early warnings so they can take action to protect their property."

A map of the UK showing rainfall compared to the January average

Around the UK:

  • People erected their own makeshift barriers in the Gloucestershire village of Minsterworth where the five-star Severn Bore flooded some riverside properties
  • Some bore spectators have been criticised by the Environment Agency for standing too close to the wave
  • A man was rescued from the fast-flowing River Severn in Worcester and was said to be "extremely fortunate" to be pulled to safety by paramedics
  • More than 50 mountain rescuers from across Wales battled atrocious weather for nine hours to rescue a group of students in the Cambrian mountains
  • A landslide at Botley in Hampshire means train services between Fareham and Eastleigh are likely to be cancelled until Wednesday, South West Trains said
  • North Somerset Council said teams had been dispatched along the coast to try to ensure public safety

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