Helicopters and sniffer dogs deployed as Spanish authorities focus on new terrain in search for missing Jay Slater

21 June 2024, 12:38 | Updated: 21 June 2024, 12:41

Helicopters, sniffer dogs and 4x4s have been deployed in the search for Jay Slater.
Helicopters, sniffer dogs and 4x4s have been deployed in the search for Jay Slater. Picture: Guardia Civil/Instagram

By Jenny Medlicott

Sniffer dogs and helicopters have drafted in by local authorities in Tenerife amid their ongoing search for missing British teenager Jay Slater.

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Jay Slater, 19, from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, travelled to the Canary Islands for a weekend music festival with two friends when he disappeared on Monday morning.

Guardia Civil shared a video on Thursday of their search efforts for the teenager so far.

In the video posted to X, they wrote: “The search for the young British man missing in the Masca neighbourhood of Buenavista (Tenerife) continues, in which different units of the Civil Guard participate.”

The footage shows a montage of officers navigating the rugged terrain of the mountainous region on Thursday.

'Family❤️' read the caption on Jay Slater's brother's Facebook page, as the hunt for the teen continues.
'Family❤️' read the caption on Jay Slater's brother's Facebook page, as the hunt for the teen continues. Picture: Facebook: Zak Slayter

Aerial shots show helicopters that have been deployed amid the search, alongside other clips of officers navigating the area in 4x4 vehicles, by foot, and also sniffer dogs that are scouring different areas.

On Friday, the focus area of the search reportedly moved to a ravine area in the Masca Valley, which is around 100 metres down below the rental property where Jay was last seen on Monday morning.

A source told the Mirror: “Teams are searching high and low. It’s a very rural and unforgiving area with undulating terrain and lots of dangers. The intention is to carry on until the boy is found.”

A police helicopter was seen flying over the Masca Gorge on Friday morning.

The Guardia Civil is leading the search, however firefighters and local Civil Protection workers are also assisting in the efforts.

On Thursday, search teams focused their efforts on a ravine off a mountain path and were in the area until late.

Jay’s last known location is thought to be near a ravine in the Rural de Teno national park close to the PR-TF51, above the rural village of Masca in southern Tenerife.

It comes after friends of the missing teenager criticised Spanish authorities on Thursday for ‘not doing a good enough job’ in their search.

Read more: Web sleuths bombard social media pages with conspiracy theories as search for missing Jay Slater enters day five

Read more: Tenerife timeline: Hunt for missing British teen Jay Slater enters fifth day as Guardia Civill release search footage

On the fourth day of the search for the 19-year-old, his friends expressed frustration with the efforts of local police and said they had started searching for evidence and interviewing witnesses themselves.

His friend Lucy Law, 18, who travelled to Tenerife with Mr Slater, criticised Spanish police for “not doing a good enough job” in the search.

Helicopters and sniffer dogs have been deployed in the search.
Helicopters and sniffer dogs have been deployed in the search. Picture: Guardia Civil
Jay Slater's last location was the Rural De Teno park
Jay Slater's last location was the Rural De Teno park. Picture: Getty

More than two dozen relatives and friends have travelled to the island to assist in the search for the 19-year-old apprentice bricklayer.

She told The Times: “We were driving around the island for 12 hours. We have been everywhere you can imagine, up and down the mountain several times and searching spots that he might have sheltered in.

“We are having to do this all by ourselves as Spanish police are not doing a good enough job. They don’t even speak English. It’s been a very slow process here so we need the British police to come out and help them.”

Shortly before Mr Slater’s battery ran out on Monday he posted a photo on Snapchat of himself seemingly at a villa in the north of the island.

Ms Law used the photo to track down the apparent villa and spoke to the two men there.

She said they told her that the 19-year-old had gone out for a cigarette before he returned and said he wanted to go home.

The men offered to drive him back later in the morning but Mr Slater said he would walk instead, Ms Law added.

She continued: “They told me he’d spoken to the next-door neighbours and they’d told him there was a bus every ten minutes back down to Los Cristianos.

“The bus stop was right next to the house. So obviously if he’d gone to get the bus he wouldn’t have got lost because it [the stop] was visible from the front door.”

"But the trip back down from the mountains is an hour’s drive and “everything looks the same”, Ms Law added.

“I can’t understand why he would come out of the house and then decide he was going to walk. I think he maybe set off walking with battery [charge on his phone] and had not realised how far the walk actually is,” she told Sky News.

Before he went missing, Jay was attending the 'New Rave Generation' (NRG) festival, but chose to stay behind with a group of strangers he had met instead of returning to where he was staying with friends.

He was last heard from by his friend Lucy at approximately 8am on Monday, who said he rang her saying he "didn't know where he was", that he "needed a drink" and had "cut his leg on a cactus". He also said he only had one per cent battery on his phone.

The Spanish Civil Guard have said they are “doing everything possible” to find Mr Slater.