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Pensioner swept to his death by Storm Brian moments after phonecall about huge waves lashing Devon coast

A PENSIONER drowned on a beach minutes after making a phone call describing the size of waves as Storm Brian battered the UK, an inquest heard.

John Bailey, 67, was walking alone in Dawlish, Devon, when the phone went dead.

Waves in Dawlish where a pensioner was swept out to sea
Reuters

He was later discovered on the beach in the early hours of last Sunday as Storm Brian lashed Britain.

There were no suspicious circumstances and the cause of death was drowning at an inquest opening in Torquay.

The hearing was told that Birmingham-born John was married and a retired maintenance man.

Storm Brian slammed into the UK last week causing transport chaos, power cuts and flooding with fierce winds reaching 70mph.

John Bailey had been on the phone describing the waves when he drowned
Reuters

The extreme conditions prompted officials to warn travellers against risking their safety for a “storm selfie” of the weather bomb.

British Airways cancelled 20 flights to and from London Heathrow to ease the pace of arrivals at the busy airport, leaving hundreds of customers forced to re-book flights.

A wave of strong winds and high seas struck the western coast of Ireland on Friday, days after Storm Ophelia left three people killed and thousands left without power.

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