Violent weather, seas kill 1, leave 8 missing

? Severe gales and heavy rains powered by an Atlantic storm have left at least one person dead and eight missing, sunk two fishing trawlers and disrupted travel across Britain and Ireland, meteorological officials said Friday.

Irish navy vessels and coast guard helicopters were searching for seven fishermen – five Irishmen, a Pole and a Ukrainian – whose trawlers sank rapidly Thursday off the coast of Ireland. Two members of one ship’s crew, both Lithuanians, were rescued from a lifeboat when a search helicopter spotted their flare.

Irish Coast Guard spokeswoman Veronica Scanlan said stormy conditions were complicating search efforts. She said searchers held out little hope of finding the missing alive after finding two empty lifeboats from one of the sunken trawlers.

British coast guards, meanwhile, abandoned their search for a 49-year-old Russian woman who disappeared from a cargo ship Thursday off the southwestern coast of England.

A man was killed Thursday after his car collided with a fallen tree on a country road in Somerset, western England.