UK severe weather: Angler missing, bus swept away by 20ft wave and ‘flood tourists’ urged to stay away

Forecasters and the Environments Agency has warned that winds and rain are set to continue as police urge ‘flood tourists’ to stay away from stricken Somerset Levels

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The Independent Online

Heavy rain and gales are set to continue battering the UK forecasters have warned, as a search is underway for a fisherman who went missing in harsh weather.

Three severe flood warning - meaning a danger to life - are in place in south-west England while a further 96 flood warnings are in place across the country.

The angler was night fishing in rough conditions off the Aberdeenshire coast in the early hours of this morning when he went missing from the rocks.

A further six anglers were rescued by helicopter from the waters off north Cornwall after their boat had been damaged.

In the Somerset Levels, police have warned ‘flood tourists’ to stay away as water levels remain extremely high with five flood warnings in place across the county. Pumps are running 24 hours a day to drain water from the area, The Environment Agency said.

Officers said those attempting to see the floods are putting themselves and the emergency services at risk. Specialist vehicles and boats have been deployed to parts of the county in order to reach villages that have been cut off by the floods.


An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: “We're asking people not to be flood tourists and not to travel to the Somerset Levels if they don't have a legitimate reason.

"It can hamper the work of the various agencies here, and can actually put people in danger."

In Cornwall, rainfall has been so severe that in Bude, residents have taken to surfing the unusually high river that passes through the town.

There is currently one severe weather warning in place for south Cornwall and two along the river Severn in Gloucestershire.

In Wales a large single decker bus was swept off the road near Pembrokeshire by a 20 feet wave earlier today, trapping 13 passengers and the driver inside. Described as shaken but uninjured, all 14 were led to safety by coastguards and fireman.

Around 180 homes have been flooded across England and Wales since Friday, the Environment Agency said.

Kate Marks, Environment Agency 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.”

Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, promised that “everything possible” was being done to help potential flood victims and prepare for the further storms.

Mr Paterson, speaking Saturday afternoon after the latest meeting of Cobra, the Government's emergency committee, promised that the Government was “offering full assistance” to emergency services and local councils.  services and local councils.