Spanish trawler missing, three die in UK as storms hit northern Europe

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

As winds in the UK reach 124 mph, a Spanish fishing trawler is missing off the coast of Scotland and three people have died in northern Britain.

The UK Coastguard received an emergency beacon signal via satellite at 2330 UTC last night from a boat in the North Atlantic, 180 miles west of Scotland. No voice radio traffic had been received since the ship's owners talked to the captain at 2030, when the crew reported that they were in difficulties and were losing power. There are 19 crew members on board, five Spansish and fourteen Portuguese. An RAF Nimrod search aircraft is due on-scene at dawn to search for the vessel.

Two lorries have been blown over. In Scotland, the lorry fell onto a car, killing the driver. In Northern Ireland, the lorry was blown off a bridge into the sea, killing the driver of the lorry. A third person died in Scotland when a van was blown into the path of an on-coming lorry.

Across Scotland, 60,000 people are without power, many roads are blocked by fallen trees, trains are not running and ferries are restricted to port. The Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in northern England has suffered superficial damage.