Cornwall

Storm Imogen: Search called off for missing RSPCA man

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

Rescue teams have called off the search for an RSPCA inspector who disappeared while trying to rescue birds as Storm Imogen lashed a Cornwall beach.

Mike Reid, 54, went to save the stranded gannets at Porthchapel Beach, near Penzance, at about 14:00 GMT on Sunday.

His family reported him missing on Monday.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has called off any future searches "until further information becomes available".

A spokesman said: "Land's End and Penzance Coastguard Rescue Teams, the RNLI Penlee lifeboat, Devon and Cornwall Police and the police helicopter have conducted a comprehensive land and sea search in the area and nothing has been found."

The family of Mr Reid left flowers and messages on the cliffs where he disappeared on Tuesday afternoon according to the Plymouth Herald.

Image caption Mike Reid went missing at Porthchapel beach near the Minack Theatre in west Cornwall

Mr Reid is described as 5ft 8in tall and was wearing black trousers, a white shirt and a black jumper when he went missing.

A spokesman from Devon and Cornwall Police said: "Police are still appealing to the public to report any sightings of Mike Reid, or if anyone has heard from him since he went missing."

Waves of 19.1m (62ft) were recorded off St Ives as Storm Imogen took hold.

Mr Reid was responding to a call to the RSPCA's national control centre about stricken birds as Storm Imogen hit the South West.

His white van was located at the Minack Theatre car park.

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

About 19,000 homes were without power on Monday as winds reached 70-80mph, but the majority have now been reconnected.

In Plymouth, work has been suspended on the refit of HMS Argyll after a hangar door was damaged by wind at Devonport dockyard.

Image caption A hangar door at Devonport dockyard was damaged by the wind

A spokesman said: "As a safety precaution an exclusion zone has been established around all three complex doors and work temporarily suspended on the refit of HMS Argyll.

"No one was injured during this incident and a full investigation and recovery programme has been initiated."

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 battered the South West coast

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