In pictures: Storm Eunice batters UK with record winds

A rare ‘threat to life’ warning was issued across the UK on Friday, as Storm Eunice ripped across the nation, bringing widespread damage and disruption.

Roads were closed and ferry and train services were curtailed by the storm, which was billed as the worst in decades by meteorologists and prompted an emergency Cobra meeting.

Record-breaking wind speeds of up to 122mph were recorded in England, as injuries were reported across the UK from flying debris. A 60-year-old council worker became the storm’s first fatality after being hit by a falling tree in County Wexford, Ireland.

One video of Southampton’s Red Funnel ferry being buffeted by high winds became widely shared, with one commenter calling the footage “terrifying”. All Red Funnel services were later suspended, with the company praising the captain for safely berthing the vessel.

A total of 90 passengers and 13 crew endured what must have been a hellish four hours on a Wightlink car ferry service, which departed Fishbourne for Porstmouth at 10am and ended up stuck in the Solent until 2pm in force 11 winds, gusting 12, according to local reports. In a statement, a Wightlink spokesperson said the St Faith captain chose not to enter Portsmouth until conditions improved.

All Wightlink ferry services to the Isle of Wight were later suspended.

In New Brighton, Merseyside, three swimmers who ignored safety warnings were warned to get out of the sea by coastguard officers, after they decided it was a good day to go for a swim:

Flood warnings were in place around the country, as gusts whipped up huge waves and heavy rain lashed down. This video taken on the coast in Porthcaul, south Wales, shows the force of the winds as they reached their peak:

While this incredible image captured in Newhaven, East Sussex captures the power of the storm:

MDL shared footage of its teams working hard to ensure customers’ boats were safe in its marinas across the south coast and beyond.

The Dutch coastguard is trying to locate 26 empty shipping containers lost on the North Sea during Storm Eunice on Friday. Panama-registered container ship Marcos V lost the 40-foot (12-metre) containers around the Dutch Wadden islands while en route to Germany in heavy winds.

This footage from Rotterdam demonstrates Eunice’s power.

Others decided to harness the weather and attempt their own sail land speed records.

Meanwhile in London, winds shredded several panels of the O2 Arena roof, forcing the cancellation of a Fugees concert. People in Croydon, south London, were filmed being thrown into the road by strong gusts:

Nearby, the YouTube channel Big Jet TV went viral with a live stream of planes landing in heavy winds at Heathrow airport, complete with epic commentary:

Passengers on easyJet flight EJU8014 from Bordeaux to London Gatwick endured two aborted landings before their plane was put in a holding pattern over the south coast and then forced to return to the French city. It touched down back at its starting point more than three hours after it departed.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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