02/01/2014 07:50 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 10:52 GMT

Search For Man Swept Out To Sea On New Year's Eve Called Off After Discovery Of A Body

Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Rough seas at Porthleven, Cornwall, as England and Wales face a battering tonight from the worst storm in five years, forecasters warn.

A search for a 27-year-old man swept out to sea on New Year's Eve has been called off after a body was found.

The man, from Surrey, had gone for a paddle with four friends in the sea at Loe Bar, near Porthleven, Cornwall having gone out for a walk on Tuesday night.

HM Coastguard said that when some of the group were up to their knees in the sea a large wave swept the man off his feet.

It was only when the friends returned to the beach they realised one of their group was missing and called the emergency services.

An air and sea search was launched on Tuesday night and continued yesterday but this morning a man's body was found on Porthleven beach.

Devon and Cornwall Police said a member of the public made the discovery at about 9am today.

"At the moment the next of kin are still being informed and we have not made a formal identification of the body," the spokeswoman said.

The discovery of the man's body comes after a woman died when she was swept out to sea at the popular beauty spot Croyde Bay in north Devon on Tuesday morning.

The woman, who was believed to be on holiday with her family, was recovered from the sea and airlifted to hospital but confirmed dead at hospital.

Police warned local residents and visitors to the West Country not to enter the sea during the bad weather following the two deaths.

"There are people who enjoy swimming in all weathers as well as those who may underestimate the danger a rough sea can pose. During the current bad weather, we would appeal to everyone to use common sense and not put themselves in unnecessary danger," the police spokesman said.

Inquiries were also continuing in Dorset for a man who is believed to have fallen into the River Stour, near Iford Bridge in Christchurch last night.

Police wish to speak to a woman who was seen to have had an altercation with a man on the bridge.

Detective inspector Pete Little said: "A witness at the scene has reported seeing an altercation between a man and a woman.

"The woman is seen to leave and it is possible that subsequent to this a man has fallen into the river.

"I am appealing for this woman to contact Dorset Police immediately.

"I would also urge anyone with any information about this incident or who may have seen a man and woman in the area at the

time to call 101.

"The search and rescue units worked in very challenging conditions with rain and strong winds but were unable to find any sign of a missing man."