UK & World News

  • 2 June 2014, 9:02

Missing Brit's Mum Jets To Jungle Island

The mum of a Brit missing in the Malaysian jungle is set to arrive on the island where he was last seen a week ago.

Paramilitary commandos and sniffer dogs have joined the hunt for Gareth Huntley, who is on a sabbatical from his job in the City.

The Foreign Office have confirmed five helicopters will now be deployed as the search intensifies.

The 34-year-old, who lives in Hackney, disappeared while trekking to visit a waterfall in Tioman Island, off the south eastern coast of the country's mainland.

Mr Huntley's girlfriend, Kit Natariga, arrived on the island on Sunday and will now be joined by his mother, Janet Southwell.

"It's really tough, especially coming onto the island," Ms Natariga told Sky News.

"It's beautiful, a paradise place, and I know Gareth's out there in the jungle somewhere. Every time I look out of the window, I hope I'll see him.

"It's very difficult ... he's in danger and time is running out."

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has been assured by the Malaysians that "all available search assets" are being used to find Mr Huntley.

Patrol boats are being used to help trace the accountant, and there is speculation that specialist military personnel from Britain, based in nearby Brunei, could join the search.

Mr Huntley's younger brother Mark said the family were staying positive.

"We want to personally thank David Cameron and Philip Hammond for their reassurances," he said. "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."

Mr Huntley, originally from West Yorkshire, set off on Tuesday telling friends at the Juara Turtle Project where he was volunteering that he would return by 2pm.

Advertisement