Spanish Civil Guard searching for missing British pensioner on island

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A British pensioner who vanished during a trip to Lanzarote remained missing last night as search teams prepared to continue their hunt.

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 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 (16km) 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 today so they “can say for 100 per cent she is not there”.

Clare Riley, Mrs Holt’s daughter-in-law, has appealed for help on Facebooks. Her message said: “She is a very fit woman who thinks nothing of walking 20 miles per day. She loves coastal paths.”