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Sunday, 16 February 2014

Valentine's Nightmare Storm

Valentine's Day Smashacre
click image to enlarge
It is not often that Milford on Sea makes the local news, yet alone the national news. However on Valentine's Night, The Marine in Milford on Sea was the main national story on BBC, ITV & Sky News.

After a month and more of what are probably the worst persistent storms the South of the UK has seen, vast areas of the country are covered by floods and high winds are causing indiscriminate damage.

A Valentine's Night storm then devastated The Marine Restaurant & Café/Bar as diners were enjoying a romantic night of celebration.

click image to enlarge
The violent storm lashed The Marine, and the diners were evacuated to the upstairs rear of the building as the stones from the beach created havoc in smashing windows, and at the same time a tidal surge flooded the ground floor. The cars in the car park were floating away and most of the car windows were shattered as if hit by sniper bullets.

The Army, Fire Service and Lymington Coastguard were called to rescue and evacuate the 32 people trapped in the beachfront restaurant. Even the army trucks did not escape unscathed with a windscreen smashed, bodywork dented and tarpaulin covers ripped by the flying shingle and large stones.

Meanwhile the concrete beach huts near The Needles Eye Cafe were being smashed by the fierce waves, and the incredible force raised a number to the ground, with massive lumps of concrete been sent tens of yards in the air and strewn across the seafront green.

Pictures by Valerie Dudley
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Hurst Spit did not escape the devastation. During the night the massive structure was wrecked and thousands of tons of shingle must have been moved by the high winds.

The next morning revealed that the popular walk was no longer possible, as the large flat top of Hurst Spit had been reduced to a few peaks. At certain points the entire sea defence had been breeched, and the sea was flowing directly into the previously sheltered marshes.

Hampshire Police has issued bomb warnings after eight unexploded shells washed up at Hurst Spit.
Pictures by Jeff Dudley
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Yachtsmen were also urged to stay vigilant after February's extreme weather left behind a host of new hazards to navigation around the spit. The combination of high winds and spring tides led to massive wave heights and at the same time the frequency between the waves were shortened to create the worst all of all sea conditions.

Residents of Milford on Sea know all about storms and high winds, but nothing has ever been seen as devastating as the 14th February 2014 storm before.

Not sure the sign was meant for that gap!
Picture by Nigel Swann
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The Marine Restaurant and Café Bar was built and is owned by Richard Thompson. The stylish art deco style building is a landmark on seafront in Milford on Sea, and it could boast some of best panoramic views you could find anywhere.

The Marine has built a reputation of great food whether you require a snack, light meal, or a more formal dining experience in the first floor restaurant. Hopefully, it will not be too long before it is again delighting diners from near and far.
Picture by Colin Holdsworth
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To see videos and read various stories on the Milford on Sea storms, please see below:

BBC News 1: click here.

BBC News 2: click here.

Sky News: click here.

Sky News: Day 2 click here

Metro: click here.

Destroyed Beach Huts: Video by Ben Mccallum click here

The Day After: Video by Thomas Bird click here


  1. David ,The Marine story even made the news (on most channels) here in Australia!

  2. - and it continues to make news - this in today's echo - well done to the Landlord at the White Horse.

  3. How much did it cost to replace everything?