Wiltshire

Ben Garland's father 'numb' after returning from Ibiza without him

Ben Garland with motorbike Image copyright Garland family
Image caption Ben Garland was a keen motorcyclist

The father of a British man feared swept out to sea in Ibiza says he is "empty and numb" after returning to the UK without him.

Family and friends of Ben Garland flew out to help look for him after he went missing during Storm Gloria in January.

Despite an extensive search by Spanish emergency services, the 25 year-old has not been found.

Mr Garland's father Mark said the family had been overwhelmed by support they received from people in Ibiza.

Keen motorcyclist Mr Garland failed to return from a ride near the town of Portinatx on 21 January when large waves and high winds battered the island.

His watch was found a few days later not far from where he disappeared.

Image copyright Garland family
Image caption Ben Garland went missing on Ibiza during Storm Gloria

Speaking after landing at Bristol Airport on Friday morning, Mr Garland's father said he was "empty and numb with pain".

"I know I said at the very beginning that I wouldn't leave without him. I think my emotions were running very high then," he said.

"It was getting tougher as the days went on with no news. We're feeling lost."

Mark Garland said he found himself talking to his son during the search.

"I would just go off, I would look over the sea and talk to him," he said.

"I kept saying, 'Ben show yourself, please, we're here, we want to take you home'."

Image caption Ben Garland's father Mark said he was "speaking" to his missing son during the search

The Garlands were presented with a signed shirt from the island's football team and Mr Garland was given a signed book by a Spanish policeman who had also lost a son.

The family plan to return to Ibiza every summer on 24 July - Ben's birthday.

And Mr Garland said he still hoped his son's body would be found "so we can give him the send-off he deserves".

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