Body of man, 21, washed up on beach off Brighton Palace Pier following major search amid Storm Noa winds

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The body of a 21-year-old man has been found washed up on a beach following a search operation

The body of a 21-year-old man washed up on Brighton beach following a search operation during the powerful winds of Storm Noa, police have confirmed.

The Coastguard helicopter and RNLI lifeboats were involved in the rescue operation which was launched on Wednesday afternoon (12 April) following the report of a person in the sea close to the pier in the East Sussex city.

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Sussex Police confirmed that the body found on the beach at Saltdean at 8.15am on Thursday (12 April) was that of a man who lived in Brighton.

A force spokeswoman said: “Following an extensive search of the waters around Brighton Pier on Wednesday evening (April 12), we have sadly found the body of a man on the beach at Saltdean. He has now been identified as a 21-year-old man from Brighton. His next of kin have been informed.

“Inquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of this tragic incident, but it is not believed to be suspicious. We can confirm we are not searching for anyone else in relation to this incident. A file will now be prepared for HM Coroner.”

The spokeswoman added that formal identification of the man had not yet been carried out.

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A body has been found washed up on a beach following a search operation off Brighton Palace Pier (Photo: Getty Images)A body has been found washed up on a beach following a search operation off Brighton Palace Pier (Photo: Getty Images)
A body has been found washed up on a beach following a search operation off Brighton Palace Pier (Photo: Getty Images) | Getty Images

The search in Brighton came as Storm Noa wreaked havoc across England and Wales with gusts up to 96mph leaving hundreds of properties without power, bringing trees down and causing travel delays.

A woman also died after being spotted in the water off Brighton beach on Tuesday (11 April). The Coastguard, RNLI and police were carrying out a search and rescue operation for someone believed to have fallen in the water near Palace Pier just just after 4pm on Wednesday.

The Coastguard helicopter had been sweeping the area for a person thought to have been swept out to sea as Storm Noa wreaked havoc across the UK with powerful gusts up to 96mph, leaving hundreds of homes without power, trees down and major travel delays in southern England and Wales, affecting trains, motorways and ferry services.

A Coastguard spokeswoman said: “Shortly after 4pm (on Wednesday), HM Coastguard received reports of a person in the water at Doughnut Groyne close to Brighton Pier. An extensive search of the area took place throughout the evening until 9pm in challenging conditions.

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“The Newhaven, Littlehampton and Shoreham Coastguard rescue teams, alongside Shoreham and Newhaven RNLI all-weather lifeboats, Sussex Police and the Coastguard helicopters from Lee-On-Solent and Lydd were sent to assist. Further searches have been conducted from 6am (on Thursday), in more favourable weather conditions. The search ended around 8am.”

Describing the previous incident, the Sussex Police spokesman said: “Emergency services conducted a search off Brighton beach shortly after 4pm on Tuesday April 11. Sadly, the body of a woman was found. Her next of kin have been informed. Her death is not being treated as suspicious and a report will be prepared for HM coroner.”

Waves crash around the lighthouse on the harbour arm in Folkestone (Photo: PA)Waves crash around the lighthouse on the harbour arm in Folkestone (Photo: PA)
Waves crash around the lighthouse on the harbour arm in Folkestone (Photo: PA) | PA

Elsewhere, a woman was also seriously injured after scaffolding fell onto a main shopping street in Fareham, Hampshire, and at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, customers on the Big One rollercoaster had to be escorted down after strong winds forced the ride to be stopped.

A spokesperson for Blackpool Pleasure Beach told the Blackpool Gazette: “At 2.50pm on Tuesday, April 11, Blackpool Pleasure Beach stopped the Big One train on the ride’s lift hill due to sudden changes in weather conditions.

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“Guests on the ride were reassured and escorted from the ride by Blackpool Pleasure Beach staff. Due to high gusts of wind the Big One roller coaster closed for the remainder of the day.”

The Irish Ferries Isle of Inisheer ferry battles against strong winds and rough seas (Photo: PA)The Irish Ferries Isle of Inisheer ferry battles against strong winds and rough seas (Photo: PA)
The Irish Ferries Isle of Inisheer ferry battles against strong winds and rough seas (Photo: PA) | PA

Train services also suffered disruptions, with Southern, Thameslink and Great Western Rail all reporting delays or cancellations following Wednesday’s poor conditions. On Thursday morning, South Western Railway told customers to avoid using London Waterloo station due to a “major signalling problem” that developed overnight, warning the impact would be widespread.

In a statement on Twitter, the operator said: “A major signalling problem that developed overnight at London Waterloo means that a significantly reduced service will operate to and from Waterloo this morning.

“We’re advising customers not to attempt travel to or from London Waterloo this morning as a result. Disruption will affect other services on the wider network so please check before you travel. We’re sorry for the disruption this morning. Engineers are working to restore signalling however we expect disruption to last for most of the day.”

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Major motorways were also closed, including two sections of the M4 in Wales as well as the M48 Severn Bridge, where National Highways reported gusts of 68mph. Coastal areas in the South West were the worst affected, with the National Grid reporting in the afternoon that 268 properties in Devon and 43 in Cornwall had been left without power.

The Met Office has said the weather will remain unsettled throughout the rest of this week, with a mix of some sunshine and heavy showers on Thursday and persistent rain in the south on Friday. Conditions will become much drier and brighter over the weekend and will continue to improve next week as temperatures start to rise.

Met Office spokesman Stephen Dixon said: “The set up is low pressure dominant both in the South West and in Scotland. Into Thursday, we are expecting these low-pressure systems to combine and move into the North Sea. This will leave behind showers across much of the UK with winds decreasing throughout the day on Thursday.”

Although the weather system is a named storm in France, it is not classed as such by the Met Office. The first storm to be named by the Met Office, or Irish or Dutch weather services, this season will still be Storm Antoni, in accordance with the 2022/23 name list.

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