Sea search called off as UK prepares for savage cold snap

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The Independent Online

One of the biggest sea searches of recent years was suspended last night with the bodies of seven fishermen still missing amid gale-force winds as Britain braced itself for a savage cold snap.

More than 500 Coast Guard staff and members of the public combed the area around the south-east coast of Ireland where the trawlermen lost their lives when the boats on which they were worked suffered accidents last week.

Five men drowned when the Pere Charles vanished two miles off Hook Head in Co Wexford on January 10, while two more lost their lives just hours later when the Honeydew II sank off Minehead, Co Waterford.

And further loss of life was feared last night as the first cold spell of the winter was due to sweep the UK, with ice and snow heading down from the north. The icy blast, bringing weather in off the north Atlantic, brought an end to unseasonably mild January temperatures.