Sailor search resumes after gales batter UK

Gale-force winds and rain have damaged properties and felled trees across the British Isles

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A search has resumed for a man who fell from a cargo ship moored on the River Trent in North Lincolnshire after winds of up to 90mph hit parts of the UK.

Attempts to find the sailor were called off on Wednesday night in "very poor" conditions.

Electricity was restored overnight in thousands of homes in parts of the UK.

Flood warnings are in place in south-east England, south-west England and Scotland, and the Met Office has issued yellow warnings of snow and ice.

Wild weather

Meanwhile, snow showers and hail fell in parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland on Thursday morning.

In the afternoon, wild weather including heavy rain, hail, thunder and wet snow are expected in parts of England including the Midlands, Derbyshire, the Chilterns and the Cotswolds.

Tree down in Bolton, Greater Manchester Trees were down in areas including Bolton in Greater Manchester
Tree down in Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire It was a similar scene in Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, at 06:00 GMT
Cars submerged in Salthill, Galway Cars were submerged in Salthill in Galway, Ireland
Stoke City players leave the pitch at the Britannia Stadium Heavy hail forced a delay in the match between Stoke City and Manchester United

Scottish Environment Protection Agency flood warnings, indicating "flooding is expected, immediate action required", are in force in parts of Tayside and Moray.

There are six Environment Agency flood warnings in place, with homeowners in parts of south-east England and south-west England urged to take action.

In other developments:

Humber Coastguard says a 45-year-old foreign national who fell from a vessel on the Trent, near Scunthorpe, was thought to have become tangled in wires and pulled overboard while working on deck during the storm.

Spokesman Mike Puplett told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the search was due to resume at 08:15 GMT.

"The weather this morning is a lot milder and a lot more benign than it was at nine last night - we had gale force winds and driving rain and it was very cold."

He said a helicopter with an infra-red camera had "searched to the limit of its fuel capability" and had "found nothing".

'Walking wounded'

Meanwhile, passengers were delayed for more than two hours on Wednesday night when a tree hit a train on the London to Bournemouth line near Christchurch, Dorset.

Passenger Marc Downer told the Today programme: "We heard this tremendous thump and a bit of a jerk and we went to a halt and it got announced that we had actually just hit a tree."

He said the train driver had left his carriage with a hacksaw "to try to cut away at some of the branches that were on the track" before engineers arrived.

No-one was injured in the incident.

Elsewhere, a man was injured after a tree fell on his car in Warwickshire, West Midlands Ambulance Service said.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said the incident, on the A45 between Stretton-on-Dunsmore and Rugby, happened at about 18:00 GMT on Wednesday.

Weather information

From the BBC:


A spokeswoman said: "The large tree had fallen onto a car, travelling on the A45, and had smashed the windscreen. The driver and the rear seat passenger, both men in their 40s and 50s, were said to be 'walking wounded' and had suffered minor injuries.

"The front seat passenger, a 19-year-old man, sustained face and head injuries as well as suspected chest injuries.

"The man was taken to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire. The driver of the car was also taken to the same hospital as a precaution."

The Championship football match between Sheffield Wednesday and Wigan at Hillsborough was abandoned early in the second-half due to a waterlogged pitch.

The was also a delay in the Capital One Cup quarter-final between Stoke City and Manchester United because of a heavy hail storm.

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