Storm Imogen: Search for missing RSPCA inspector continues


A search has resumed for an RSPCA inspector who went missing while trying to rescue sea-birds from a cliff shortly before Storm Imogen's hurricane force winds battered Britain.

Colleagues joined the hunt for Mike Reid, 54, who went to the aid of around 30 gannets stranded on rocks near Penzance, Cornwall.

Devon and Cornwall police said: "In land searches will continue today and further coastguard searches will take place later.

"Police are still appealing to the public to report any sightings of Mr Reid or if anyone has heard from him since he has gone missing."

Thousands of people were left without power after winds reaching speeds of almost 100mph hit the country during the height of the storm.

Coastal communities in Wales and south west and southern England bore the brunt of the weather that tore in from the Atlantic, with 1,917 homes waking up to no electricity.

There are 50 Environment Agency flood warnings and 162 alerts in force across England and Wales.

Several people were injured in the storm, including two children aged five and seven, who were taken to hospital on Monday morning after a stone wall fell on them in Bretforton, near Evesham, Worcestershire.

It came less than two weeks after the local authority inspected the wall and found no immediate danger to the public.

A man in his 70s broke his leg and his dog was killed after a 5ft garden wall blew on to them in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, shortly before 8am on Monday.

In Bristol, a man in his 40s was injured after trees fell onto a three-storey block of flats.

Those who had lucky escapes included a father and daughter near Exeter, Devon, who had a 30m (100ft) tree blown on to their car outside their house, minutes before they were due to leave for school.

Conditions out at sea reached "phenomenal" states, with waves topping 16m (52ft 6in) and a monster of 19.1m (63ft) recorded off St Ives on Monday, the Met Office said.

Fastnet lighthouse, off the south west of County Cork, recorded sustained winds of up to 121mph.

However, Grahame Madge from the Met office said Storm Imogen was now moving away from the UK.

He added: "Things are quietening down. What we are expecting for the next couple of days is a system of colder air to be pulled into the UK.

"Lower temperatures could possibly create some wintry showers over some higher areas - upperlands - and possibly down to some lower levels in some areas."

It is still expected to be blustery over the next couple of days, but temperatures are set to improve over the weekend.

Wild Weather: The Worst of Storm Imogen