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Man dies in stormy sea after being swept off wall

Car wash: A motorist gets in high water in Billericay, Essex PICTURE: REX

ONE man died and three others were rescued after a huge wave engulfed them on a harbour wall as rain and high winds battered the south-east yesterday.

A Coastguard rescue team and an RNLI lifeboat were scrambled to pull three men from the sea in Ramsgate harbour in Kent. One man was pronounced dead at the scene. A fourth was airlifted to hospital after being found injured on the harbour wall.

People were being warned to stay away from the area amid ‘atrocious’ weather. It came as much of Britain suffered strong winds, heavy rain and plunging temperatures. More than 40 flood alerts were issued, mostly in south-east England, as some areas saw a month’s rainfall in a day.

Elsewhere in Kent, firefighters had to cut the roof off a car in Herne Bay after a driver was trapped by a falling tree.

Cricketers in the Essex v Hampshire fixture wore woolly hats on the pitch as temperatures plunged to 8C in London, 12C in Manchester and 6C in Norwich. The rain was set to ease in the south-east, the Met Office said. The north, west, Scotland and Ireland were expected to stay dry with sunny spells.