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Body found in search for man missing during Storm Angus

Published 23/11/2016

Russell Sherwood 69, from Neath, who disappeared during Storm Angus (South Wales Police/PA)
Russell Sherwood 69, from Neath, who disappeared during Storm Angus (South Wales Police/PA)

Police searching for a pensioner who disappeared during Storm Angus have found a body, after the search was hampered by what officers described as "treacherous" conditions.

Russell Sherwood, 69, went missing after leaving his home in Neath, South Wales, on Monday morning as the storm that claimed at least one life wrought widespread havoc.

The discovery came as parts of the UK were warned to remain vigilant for flooding following disruption and damage caused by the storm.

One person had already died as a result of the bad weather, as a woman who was pulled from heavy seas near Folkestone died "despite efforts from emergency services to save her", Kent Police said.

The Environment Agency had five flood warnings and 43 flood alerts in place for England and Wales by Wednesday evening - down from an earlier 12 warnings and 79 alerts. The agency warned of a continuing flood risk in Dorset and York as rain causes the rivers to gradually rise.

On Tuesday evening, teams searching the River Ogmore said they had discovered a car believed to be Mr Sherwood's silver Ford Focus lying upside-down in the water. But o fficers were unable to search the vehicle because of the "treacherous" conditions, a South Wales Police spokesman said.

Police divers found the body when the search resumed at first light on Wednesday. Mr Sherwood's family has been told.

Chief Superintendent Stuart Parfitt said: "The search for Mr Sherwood has now concluded, after a car and a body were sadly recovered this morning. There are no suspicious circumstances and the incident is being treated as a very tragic accident.

"Formal identification of the body will now take place, and the investigation has been referred to the coroner.

"Our thoughts remain with Mr Sherwood's family at this difficult time, and I would like to thank them for their co-operation and patience while we conducted a search operation in what were extremely difficult conditions."

The Met Office forecast the North and South would stay dry on Wednesday, while rain fell on coastal areas on the English Channel.

The death of the woman who was pulled from the sea near Folkestone on Tuesday is being referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), Kent Police said.

The 39-year-old was spotted by a helicopter crew before being airlifted to a local hospital at around 7am, but later died.

Kent Police said they had received a call concerning the welfare of the same woman at around 6.30pm on Monday and referral to the IPCC was "mandatory" in such circumstances.

The IPCC said it was assessing the referral from Kent Police "to determine the appropriate level of IPCC involvement".

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