By John Ensor •
Published: 25 Jan 2024 • 10:54
Search helicopter on Gran Canaria.
Credit: 112 canarias/X
The Guardia Civil recently announced the tragic discovery of a British hiker’s body in Gran Canaria’s rugged Pico de Las Nieves area.
On the afternoon of Monday, January 22, the 53-year-old man embarked on a hiking journey with his wife near Pico de Las Nieves, the island’s second-highest peak. His wife reported his sudden disappearance, leading to an extensive search operation.
In a statement, the regional emergency services detailed the events: ‘At the time indicated above [5pm on Monday], the Emergency and Security Coordinating Center (CECOES) of the Government of the Canary Islands received an alert in which it was reported that a person had gone for a walk from the Pico de Las Nieves viewpoint and hours later he had not returned.’
Despite immediate efforts, the search was halted at 7:40 pm on Monday due to low visibility. It resumed at dawn on January 23, with a helicopter from the Emergency and Rescue Group (GES) joining the mission.
The GES helicopter crew spotted the hiker’s lifeless body at 12.40 pm on Tuesday. Located in a treacherous, hard-to-access area, it was near the couple’s last known position.
Following legal authorisation, his body was retrieved around 5:00 pm to the Pico de Las Nieves parking area, where the Guardia Civil confirmed the identity of the missing man.
Currently, the body is under their custody for further investigation. Early signs point to an accidental fall as the cause.
The search operation involved various teams, including GES aerial units, Guardia Civil officers, San Mateo fire brigade, environmental agents, and members of the Canary Islands Police.
Although it is believed the couple were on holiday, official confirmation from local authorities or the Foreign Office is pending.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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