British man rescued by police in Jay Slater search says he 'didn't need saving'

David Larkin says he was 'not lost'
-Credit: (Image: Mirror Online)


A British hiker found by search teams in Tenerife who were looking for missing teen Jay Slater has spoken out to say he 'didn't need rescuing'.

Experienced hiker David Larkin said he didn't "want to appear ungrateful" and "thanked them for their concern but I was fine". The 51-year-old had been walking in Tenerife close to where the 19-year-old was last seen when rescuers thought he needed saving, the Mirror reports.

The Spanish Police posted on their Facebook page about their "success" claiming they "rushed to the rescue of a 51-year-old Scottish hiker". But now Mr Larkin has spoken to reporters to clear the air.

READ MORE: Jay Slater missing in Tenerife LIVE with police 'considering all possibilities' - latest updates

He insisted: "I can tell you now, I wasn't tired and I wasn't disoriented, and I didn't need rescuing. I think there was a lot lost in translation. I explained to them I had water, I was wearing layers, I had my rucksack with food and I'm an experienced hiker."

Mr Larkin, a former director of a housing project based in Hackney, arrived in Tenerife earlier this month and is staying in a one-bedroom hut on the edge of a cliff while going on treks across the park. He added in his chat with the MailOnline: "I went into the canyon and I saw the helicopters looking and thought they were looking for the lad but I didn't for one minute think they would end up picking me up. I think they want to show how good they are, but I certainly didn't saving. I feel so sorry for the boy's family and hope he's found soon.

-Credit:PA
-Credit:PA

"I'm actually embarrassed about this, I had my poles and I know what I'm doing and I knew that if it could get windy I would take shelter in a cave. I know these trails, I've been coming here for years, so I know what I'm doing."

Jay Slater, from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, has been missing on the holiday island since Monday (June 17). He was last seen by the owner of an Airbnb and it is thought he had missed the bus to reach friends at the south of the island, an area popular with British tourists.

His last known location has been traced to Rural del Teno, a mountainous area in the west of the island. The closest town is Santiago del Teide. He had been staying on the south of the island in an apartment with friends. One of those pal's Lucy Mae told police she woke up to a phone call from Jay at 8.30am saying 'he was lost in the mountains, he wasn’t aware of his surroundings, he desperately needed a drink and his phone was on 1%'.

Shortly before vanishing, Jay had been messaging friends on social media Snapchat and seemed in a normal and stable state of mind. His phone died around 8.50am, with his last known location registered near a hiking trail, several hundred feet above the small village of Masca.

Yesterday, June 24, a former British detective told the Mirror that the 19 year old's disappearance should have been treated as a murder inquiry from the outset, in a crucial move to preserve the best possible forensic evidence in the vital first 24 hours of the case. Ex-Met DCI Steve Gaskin told the Mirror things are "not looking good" for Jay.