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Storm Imogen: Bird rescue RSPCA man missing as winds lash coast

Mike Reid Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Mike Reid's family reported him missing on Monday after he did not return home from work on Sunday

An RSPCA inspector has gone missing trying to rescue of dozens of sea birds at a Cornwall beach as Storm Imogen lashes the coast.

Mike Reid, 54, has not been seen since he went to save the gannets stranded on rocks at Porthchapel Beach, near Penzance, at about 14:00 GMT on Sunday.

Gusts of 81mph hit the Isles of Scilly as the Met Office confirmed "phenomenal" sea conditions.

Waves of 19.1m were recorded off St Ives as the storm took hold.

Read more on this story as it develops on our Local Live pages.

Mr Reid's family reported him missing on Monday. His white van was located at the Minack Theatre car park.

Image copyright Rebecca Wilbur
Image caption The seaside village of Porthleven in Cornwall cowers under the power of the waves unleashed by Storm Imogen which has battered the South West coast

He is described as 5ft 8in tall, of stocky build and was wearing black trousers, a white shirt and a black jumper.

Dermot Murphy, the RSPCA's assistant director, said: "We are extremely concerned and urge anyone who may have seen Mike yesterday to contact Devon and Cornwall Police who are leading the search.

"He has not been seen since he responded to a call to our National Control Centre about stricken birds yesterday.

"We are in close contact with his family and will continue to provide ongoing support through the search."

Image caption Russell Cooke was seconds away from getting into his car in Ide, Devon to do the school run when a tree crushed the vehicle

Thousands of homes in Devon and Cornwall are without power after winds brought down power lines and trees.

Russell Cooke was seconds away from getting into his car in Ide, Devon to do the school run when a tree crushed the vehicle.

A Met Office spokesman said the sea conditions were associated with storm force 11 - the most violent on the scale.

Winds are expected to gradually ease through the afternoon and evening said the forecaster.

Image copyright Dave Sherris
Image caption St Mary's was hit by huge waves as Storm Imogen took hold

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