Six volunteers turn up for 'Massive' Jay Slater search party promoted by Tenerife police

Jay Slater, 19, went missing on June 17
-Credit: (Image: MEN Media)

A mere six volunteers, including a British TikToker, have stepped forward to join today's search for the missing Lancashire teenager Jay Slater, following an appeal from Spanish authorities. The 19-year-old vanished on June 17 in Tenerife's northwest region, and hopes were high that a fresh push would shed light on his mysterious disappearance.

Despite widespread publicity, the response has been tepid, with only a handful of locals joining the nearly 30-strong team of professional searchers, which includes police, firefighters, and mountain rescue specialists, as they enter the 13th day of operations.

Cipriano Martin, who leads the Civil Guard's Greim mountain rescue unit, commented on the low volunteer numbers, saying: "Well, we've been searching for lots of days and with the search today, we're talking about 30 people."

The Guardia Civil had issued a call on Friday for volunteer groups and individuals skilled in navigating challenging terrain to join a "busqueda masiva" or massive search effort set for Saturday. The operation, starting in the village of Masca close to where Jay was last seen, aimed to cover difficult ground, including ravines and various trails, reports the Mirror.

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Jay is understood to have spent the night at an Airbnb in Masca within the Teno Rural Park after attending a rave with two other individuals in the south of the island. The last sighting of him was by the accommodation's owner, following his inquiry about catching the next bus back to his mates in southern Tenerife.

Subsequently, he contacted his friends Lucy Law and Brad Hargreaves via phone, informing them of his intention to embark on the approximately 11-hour trek back. The search party this morning included a Spanish army reservist, a local mother, and British TikToker Paul Arnott, who has been liaising with Jay's circle, including his devastated mum Debbie Duncan, aged 55.

When questioned about the search efforts and claims of insufficient local media coverage, 29-year-old Paul from Bedfordshire commented: "I think the exposure has been really good."

"I've had loads of people that say they're going to come because they've seen my posts and the police, so personally from my point of view I think it's been brilliant. It's what the family wanted and that's what I'm interested in - helping the family."

Regarding Jay's relatives and their potential involvement in today's search, he added: "They've said I'm doing a good job and I'm making them proud."

"I wouldn't want them to come out here. It's the worst terrain ever. I wouldn't want my family coming out here, no chance. They're broken. I admire them so much for their strength. It's the worst situation any family could be in. It's horrible."

He added: "I've been checking loads of different areas and some days I've been with the police and mountain rescue who have told me where to go to search. We spoke to Brad and we know that Jay has been sliding down the mountains so I'm looking for slide marks. I've got a picture of his shoes on my phone and I'm looking for any breakages in the plant material. Just any evidence that he has been through this way."

Volunteer Livia Karczewski, 40, said she felt motivated to help due to having a 19-year-old son herself. She learned about the search via Facebook and jumped at the opportunity to assist. "I have a son the same age and if something happened to him I would like to think people would come to help find him. It really hits home. I am experienced but not an expert so I will search the paths. It is difficult terrain so you need to be prepared."

Army reservist Juan Garcia also joined the efforts, compelled by reading Jay's story in a local newspaper.