Urgent search launched at sea as Storm Jocelyn batters UK with 71mph wind

By admin, 24 January, 2024

A major search has been launched at sea during Storm Jocelyn following reports of a person in the water.

Rescue teams continued their search off the coast of Porthcawl, south Wales late into the evening after the alarm was raised just before 6pm on Tuesday. A spokesperson from HM Coastguard said their helicopter from St Athan is "supporting the search", along with the RNLI's all-weather lifeboats from Mumbles and Barry Dock. South Wales Police has also been alerted.

It comes as 71mph gale-force winds from the latest storm caused major travel disruption across the UK.

Train passengers on Avanti West cost services were told no trains would be running north of Preston after 3pm due to the severe weather, while drivers are being advised to postpone journeys and not park near trees. Railway services in Scotland are meanwhile expected to be suspended until at least noon on Wednesday.

Storm Jocelyn is expected to become worse in some areas early on Wednesday morning, with a possibility of weather warnings being extended through rush hour, according to the Met Office. Thousands of people remained affected by power cuts late on Tuesday, while the historic city of York was flooded as the River Ouse burst its banks.

The Met Office has issued amber and yellow weather warnings for wind covering much of the UK, together with yellow warnings for rain covering parts of western and southern Scotland, and north-west England. A yellow warning for ice has also been issued across northern and eastern parts of Scotland. Gusts of 80mph could be experienced in exposed areas, with 40-50mm of rain possible over higher ground, the forecaster said.

Winds as high as 71mph have already been recorded in Lake Vyrnwy, Powys, on Tuesday, with gusts of 64mph recorded at the Needles, Isle of Wight. Parts of Cumbria have already seen 68mm of rainfall on Tuesday, while some areas of Wales have had 50mm.

Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Willington said Storm Jocelyn, which was named by Met Eireann, could cause even more disruption than the deadly Storm Isha. He said: “Although this system will be a step down relative to Storm Isha, with the damage and clean-up still underway, we could potentially see more impacts from Storm Jocelyn. Wind gusts are expected to reach 55 to 65mph across north-western Scotland while there is potential for winds to reach 75 to 80mph in a few places, in particular, exposed parts of the Western Isles and coastal north-west Scotland early on Wednesday morning.”

It comes after the pensioner who died in a crash with a fallen tree during Storm Isha was named locally. Jimmy Johnstone, 84, is understood to have passed away after a car crashed into a tree toppled by strong winds in Grangemouth, near Falkirk. Five people are reported to have died in the UK and Ireland during Isha, which began on Sunday and lasted well into Monday.