Heartbroken friend of missing teenager Jay Slater says 'we've got to live in hope' as desperate search in Tenerife continues

Jay Slater has not been heard from since June 17
-Credit: (Image: LancsLive)

The heartbroken family friend to missing teenager Jay Slater has said 'we have to live in hope' as the desperate search in the mountains of Tenerife continues.

Rachel Hargreaves, who flew out to the Spanish island alongside Jay's mum Debbie Duncan and other members of the family earlier this week and has been providing regular updates to the Facebook group dedicated to finding the teenager, has since spoken out on the sixth day of the challenging rescue efforts.

The 19-year-old, from Lancashire, vanished on Monday morning (June 17). He had been to the NRG festival the night before with friends. It is reported that he then travelled back to the rural village of Masca with others he met, staying in a remote Airbnb holiday rental, before ‘walking off into the mountains on foot’.

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"We've got to live in hope haven't we," she said, speaking from the resort of Los Cristianos, in Tenerife "You can't give up on anything can you really. We're here and we are staying until we've got an outcome."

Emergency workers, including the Civil Guard, mountain rescue team and fire crews, are searching a 30-kilometre area in hopes to find the 19-year-old, who has not been heard from since Monday.

Emergency workers near the village of Masca
Emergency workers near the village of Masca -Credit:PA

Civil Defence search teams lifted the lid on the specific rural areas where the efforts are being focused, all in the vicinity of the Parque Rural de Teno nature reserve, the area where Jay was reported missing. They include a ravine around 100 metres below the rental property where Jay was last seen, as well as in mountains between Masca and Las Portelas.

Click here to see a map of the exact areas being searched.

On Friday, it was announced that the Civil Guard rejected an offer of help from Lancashire Constabulary, saying they were 'satisfied' with the resources they had for the rescue operation.

Speaking about the efforts of Spanish police, Rachel added: "They're doing all they can. The UK [police] have offered to come out and support but the Spanish police believe they've got the resources they need.

Civil Guard and Civil Defence teams at the search base, north of Masca
Civil Guard and Civil Defence teams at the search base, north of Masca -Credit:M.E.N.

"The more people the better - but if they're confident they've got what they need, then as long as they know they are looking then that's fine. We're happy for anyone who wants to help or anyone with information or anything like that."

And on Saturday night (June 22), Jay's heartbroken mum Debbie Duncan issued a direct plea to her missing son, saying: "We just need you home."

Missing teenager Jay Slater
Missing teenager Jay Slater -Credit:MEN Media

"I’m not coping very well at all. I’ve not slept, I’m exhausted. It’s been awful. I can’t give up on him, I just can’t," she added.