UK

UK Weather: Rescued Man Defied Police Warnings To Photograph Waves

04/01/2014 18:26 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 13:17 GMT

A man had to be rescued by lifeboat after he defied police warnings and photographed waves from a harbour jetty.

The RNLI were called to rescue the man, who was spotted taking photographs on a jetty in Aberystwyth, Wales.

Rescue crews used their dinghy to get close to him then strapped a lifejacket on him and brought him ashore.

As the weather raged around him, waves lashed against the pier and swamped the man, who was trapped at the entrance to the town's harbour by large waves breaking across the wooden jetty.

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Waves whipped up by the wind crash against rocks at Trearddur Bay, Angelsey

Fearing for his safety, the RNLI inshore rescue team launched and rescued him from the end of the platform.

The RNLI said that despite repeated warnings to the public to stay away from the coastline, the man had walked to the end of the wooden jetty taking photographs of the huge waves breaking against the jetty and across the road at South Marine Terrace.

An Aberystwyth RNLI Lifeboat spokesman said: "Whilst the extreme sea conditions are attracting people to the coastline, we repeat our warning to the public stay safe and to keep away from the shore line and dangerous waves.

"This incident highlights the dangers posed not only to the man taking photos, but also the danger that our volunteer crew members and other emergency services have been placed in rescuing this man."

The incident in Aberystwyth is the latest in several that have happened across the country since the stormy weather struck.

A man was pulled from the sea at Newquay in Cornwall by police officers after ignoring warnings about the fierce storms.

He was seen in waist high water by police and was dragged from the sea by Sergeant Regie Butler and other officers and taken to hospital.

Two people have already died in the storms. A 27-year-old man from Surrey was found on Porthleven Sands beach in Cornwall after he was swept out to sea on New Year's Eve night, and a woman died after being rescued from the sea in Croyde Bay, north Devon.

Meanwhile, searches have resumed in south Devon for missing 18-year-old Harry Martin - with more than 100 people volunteering to look for him.

The university student was last seen on Thursday afternoon leaving his home in Newton Ferrers, near Plymouth, to take photographs of the bad weather.

Two people have already died in the storms. A 27-year-old man from Surrey was found on Porthleven Sands beach in Cornwall after he was swept out to sea on New Year's Eve night, and a woman died after being rescued from the sea in Croyde Bay, north Devon.

Further storms, high tides and gale-force winds are expected across many parts of the UK over the weekend as communities already hit by a trail of devastation begin to assess the damage.

Hundreds of homes have been flooded from Cornwall to Scotland, with miles of coastline battered and roads and fields across the country left under water.

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Local residents view the swollen River Severn from the flood defence at Minsterworth near Gloucester, England

The ferocious weather has left widespread damage. In Aberystwyth debris was strewn across the promenade, rail lines in north Wales were left buckled by the power of the sea and a road collapsed in Amroth, Pembrokeshire.

A man and child were almost swept away by a huge wave at Mullion Cove in Cornwall as they peered over the sea wall to watch the raging sea, and elsewhere in Cornwall vehicles driving on a coastal road were swamped and almost washed away by a tidal surge.

Most recent estimates suggest that around 90 properties have flooded since Friday, bringing the total number of properties flooded to around 220.

People across the UK, from Devon to Cumbria and Sussex, protected their homes with sand bags and flood gates as the waters rose around them.

Rail operator First Great Western was warning passengers that further rain and strong winds forecast for tomorrow afternoon "may result in further disruption affecting our routes in Devon and Cornwall".

A man was pulled from the sea in Cornwall by police officers early today after ignoring warnings about the fierce storms.

The man had to be rescued after going into the sea at around 4.30am at Newquay.

He was seen in waist high water by police and was dragged from the sea by Sergeant Regie Butler and other officers and taken to hospital.

Police secured a line to Butler, who waded out to pull the man to shore at Towan Beach, because there was not time to wait for other emergency services to get there.

Butler tweeted:

Aberystwyth University was deferring the start of the examination period by one week and was advising students not to travel to the coastal town until the middle of next week because of the severe weather.

As the New Year storms continued, the Government came under fire yesterday as it was revealed an estimated 1,700 jobs are to be axed at the Environment Agency (EA), with 550 staff from the floods team to go.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said front-line flood defences would be protected after the EA's chief executive Paul Leinster said risk maintenance would be "impacted" and work on flood warnings would "have to be resized".

Leslie Manasseh, deputy general secretary of trade union Prospect, called on the Government to stop the cuts.

"Last week David Cameron praised Environment Agency staff for doing an amazing job with the floods and extreme weather. It's typical that as soon as there is a crisis, the politicians immediately turn to the specialists and professionals with the scientific knowledge and skills to step in and protect the public," he said.