Storm Erik death: Kitesurfer dies in Devon as 70mph winds batter Britain

A kitesurfer has died after an accident on a beach in north Devon as Storm Erik battered the UK with winds of up to 75mph.

The man, who has not been identified, was fatally injured at Saunton Sands, near Barnstaple, at around 11am on Saturday.

He was airlifted to North Devon District Hospital but was pronounced dead at 1.27pm

The kitesurfer is believed to be the third victim of Storm Erik, after two motorists were killed by falling trees on Friday.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “This incident is not being treated as suspicious at this stage.

“The incident will remain in the hands of the coroner and a file of evidence will be submitted to the coroner.

“It is then a matter for an inquest.”

The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for strong winds on Saturday covering much of Wales, central and northern England and southern Scotland.

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Wind speeds of 75mph were recorded in Powys, Wales, and 74mph in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. The rest of the country saw gusts of between 40 and 50mph.

A separate yellow weather warning was issued for heavy rain in northern Scotland.

Early on Friday morning a 50-year-old man died after his car was crushed by a tree in on the A394 in Buckfastleigh, Devon.

A few hours later another motorist was killed by a falling tree on the B4306 between Pontyberem and Llannon in west Wales.

Storm Erik has also caused disruption to the rail network, with speed restructions on trains between Leeds and York and between Newcastle and Carlisle.

A British Airways pilot was forced to abort a landing during strong winds at Heathrow Airport.

Emergency services warned motorists to take care when driving through the difficult conditions.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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