15/02/2020 23:04 GMT

Storm Dennis: Two Bodies Pulled From The Sea

One man had gone missing from a tanker ship anchored off Margate.

GEOFF CADDICK via Getty Images
Bystanders take photographs as huge waves crash against the sea wall at Porthcawl, south Wales.

Two bodies have been pulled from rough seas as the UK is battered by Storm Dennis.

The body of a man missing from a tanker ship anchored off Margate, Kent was found after a seven-hour search, and another was found at Herne Bay.

Lifeboats and the coastguard helicopter had been scouring the sea near Margate Harbour after reports of a man overboard, HM Coastguard said.

HMS Westminster was also believed to have responded to a relay call, and has been in the area, according to ship-tracking data.

A distress call was received by the coastguard at 5.41am and an extensive search of the area began, with emergency services battling rough seas and challenging conditions.

A body was later pulled from the water.

A coastguard spokesman said: “At around 1pm, after many hours of searching, a body was sadly found in the water by the RNLI Margate lifeboat and has been brought to shore.”

An emergency search was launched after LPG tanker B Gas Margrethe reported that one of its crew was unaccounted for.

He had been last seen several hours previously, and following a search of the ship it was assumed he was missing overboard.

The 99-metre Maltese-flagged ship had been anchored off the coast of Margate.

Police are trying to establish the man’s identity so that next of kin can be informed, a spokesman said.

In a separate incident, Kent Police were called at 12.15pm on Saturday to a report a person had been pulled from the sea in Herne Bay.

Officers attended with fire and ambulance services and a man was declared dead at the scene.

Next of kin are aware and the death is not being treated as suspicious, police said.