Stunned witnesses watched as the twister appeared on the horizon off Torquay, Devon. Local resident Alison Heather, who photographed the scene, said: "It was moving across the bay and you could actually see that it was drawing the sea spray up a couple of hundred feet in the air.
It wasn't the sort of thing you expect to see here. It was breathtaking. A spokesman for the Western Lady ferry service said one of their skippers logged the twister at 2.20pm around two miles east of Berry Head. He said: "The skipper saw a long thin formation come down from the sky, and when it was near the surface, water was sucked up to meet it.
It was a bit spooky recall because on land here it suddenly went cold and dark for ten minutes. It was very unusual weather for this part of the world. Witness Dave Perry added: "It was right on the horizon and lots of people were looking at it. It was like a giant water spout.
First of all we thought it was a cloud but then we saw it was actually sucking up the water. I haven't seen anything like it before here. A tornado is a violent, rotating column of air which is in contact with both the surface of the earth and the base of a cloud.
But a spokesman for the Met Office said the phenomenon was more likely to be a water spout - an intense column of cloud that occurs over a body of water.
Feitelijk dus een klein geval van onkunde op weergebied. De eerste moet toch wel een wind-, water-, stofhoos of tornado van elkaar kunnen onderscheiden?
Christian het is vertaald en er stond duidelijk dat het een 'tornado' was. Ik zie heel het probleem niet. Ik had er ook neer kunnen zetten Bliksem gespot in Denvon en dan hadden er ook net zoveel bezoekers geweest.