PICS: Crew airlifted from floundering ship as Storm Angus lashes southern England

Devon and Cornwall Police declared a "major incident" earlier this morning

PICS: Crew airlifted from floundering ship as Storm Angus lashes southern England

Picture by Gareth Fuller PA Wire/PA Images

Updated 17:40

A helicopter rescue has been carried out off the coast of Dover after a cargo ship collided with a barge as heavy storms make their way across southern England.

Eleven members of the 23-man crew were airlifted from the 200m-long Saga Sky after the hull was damaged and it began taking on water, the Maritime and Coastguard agency said.

It lost power and steering after colliding with the other vessel, which was loaded with rocks three miles off the coast.

Two helicopters and lifeboats from Dover and Dungeness were sent to deal with what the coastguard called a major incident.

The severe weather meant that the cargo vessel was swept onto the Varne sand bank, but the remaining 12 crew members were later able to move into clearer waters.

Up to 2,000 properties in Devon and elsewhere in the south west of the country are without power after high winds and heavy rain battered the coast.

A taxi is stuck in the snow on the A635 in Saddleworth Moor, as weather warnings are in place after Storm Angus. Picture by Anthony Devlin PA Wire/PA Images

People watch large waves at Newhaven in East Sussex. Picture by Andrew Matthews PA Wire/PA Images

Winds from Storm Angus, the first of the season to be named, peaked at 84mph at Guernsey Airport.

Winds of 68mph were recorded in Dover, and more than 2in(53mm) of rain was logged in Exeter in Devon, including 10mm in one hour.

Devon and Cornwall Police declared a "major incident" at 4.15am, evacuating the Mill on the Mole chalet park after the River Mole burst its banks.

At its peak, the flood water there was four feet deep.

Adrian Murphy, of the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: "This incident has taken place in the midst of a major storm and it was difficult to stand when we arrived on the seafront."

The Met Office has issued an amber "be prepared" warning for the southeast of England on Sunday morning because of the risk of high winds.

Meanwhile, Northern France has also faced a weekend of wild weather. 

National weather agency Météo France has forecast thunderstorms for north and northwestern France this weekend and "occasionally dangerous" conditions. 

Winds of up to 120km/h, hail, and thunderstorms have resulted in power outages in some parts of the country.