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Search for missing Briton suspended

The search for a British woman who vanished during a trip to Lanzarote has been called off for the night and is expected to resume on Friday.

Fears are growing for the welfare of Margaret Holt, 65, from the Wirral, who was last seen on the Canary Island on December 23.

Her worried family contacted the Spanish Civil Guard to raise the alarm after she failed to make contact with them over Christmas. They are now in the country helping the large-scale search operation which has seen a dog team, rescue helicopters and volunteers join the hunt.

Djek Deign, manager of UK Away FM, an English language radio station on Lanzarote, said: "Her family found an Amazon guide to Lanzarote in her room with marked pages, indicating that she was going to go hiking in the north of the island, which is where they are searching.

"The north is a peninsula that comes off the island and is about 10 miles long and has cliffs on one side with a drop of about 1,000m (3,281ft) in some places. We are talking very rugged terrain with ravines and rocks. But the area is not particularly overgrown so it's not too difficult to pick things up."

He said they started searching the north of the island on December 26 and would return to the area so they "can say for 100% she is not there".

Clare Riley, Mrs Holt's daughter-in-law, was quoted on a Facebook page appealing for information about her whereabouts. Her message said: "She is a very fit woman who thinks nothing of walking 20 miles per day. She loves coastal paths.

"We have her passport, cards etc from her room so know she only intended to go for a walk. Her mobile phone is with her but not working. We really believe she had a fall walking."

Mrs Holt was seen leaving her hotel in the resort of Costa Teguise on the morning of December 23 wearing a light pink vest, khaki shorts, walking sandals and a drawstring bag. She was spotted later in the afternoon in the northerly Orzola region of the island but has not been seen since.

The Foreign Office confirmed it had been informed about the disappearance. "The Spanish authorities are carrying out a search co-ordinated by the Civil Guard and local emergency services," said an FCO spokesman. "Staff from the British Consulate are in contact with the authorities and the family."


From Belfast Telegraph