Saturday, March 19, 2005

Sombre vigil as search goes on for missing man

A huge operation involving British and Spanish helicopters and search teams continued into the night yesterday for a local man in his late twenties who disappeared into the sea on Thursday night.

Police refused to confirm reports that the incident happened whilst some smuggling activity was taking place in the area during rough seas.

A Royal Gibraltar Police (RGP) spokesman said yesterday that at 11.30 pm on Thursday a call was received at New Mole House Police Station reporting that a man had been swept away by rough seas off the south end of Eastern Beach by the reclamation area.

Police and local essential services immediately attended to the area and a full search was instigated both by land and sea with the Port launch and Salvamar helicopter taking part.

The search continued into Friday morning and soldiers from the Royal Gibraltar Regiment assisted with the land based search together with the Guardia Civil searching along the adjoining Spanish coastline. A RAF helicopter from a Royal Navy vessel patrolling the Strait also participated in the search.

"The man reported to be a local resident in his late 20s was at the time of the incident in the company of other persons and was wearing dark blue clothing.
The circumstances leading to his disappearance are still under investigation,” said police.

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