Malaysian authorities have promised that all available resources have been deployed in the search for missing Briton Gareth Huntley, as his family fear they are “running out of time” to find him.
The 34-year-old accountant from Hackney has been missing from the Juarta Turtle Sanctuary on Tioman Island in Malaysia since Tuesday. He failed to return from a short trek to a waterfall. His friend Flavia Cerrone says there are now more than 100 police officers involved in the search.
"We are extremely grateful to the Malaysian authorities and government and UK authorities," Cerrone told London Live and explained the importance of the #findgareth campaign on Twitter.
"We just heard that his phone received signal up until a couple of days ago, so effectively our social campaign now is really trying to focus on asking Apple to be able to look into that and see if they can give us a location."
Mr Huntley’s girlfriend, Kit Natariga, arrived on Tioman yesterday. She said: “It’s really tough coming on to the island, we’re in a bit of a helpless state. We cannot give up... time is running out.”
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, who is in Malaysia, raised the issue with his Malaysian counterpart yesterday and has been that assured “all available search assets” are involved.
A local Foreign Office diplomat has also arrived on the island. Mr Huntley’s family have praised those involved in the search. His younger brother Mark said: “We want to personally thank David Cameron and Philip Hammond for their reassurances. It is a very big positive for us. We are, of course, very grateful to the Malaysian people and the authorities for their work too. Everyone has been fantastic.
“We are told that local people went out to look for Gareth as soon as he was first described as missing — so without them there would not be a search mission.
“What we need now is for that work to continue and to find my brother.”