Wales

Welsh rescue team to search for man missing in Zante

John Tossell Image copyright Family photo
Image caption John Tossell has been missing since 17 June

A Welsh mountain rescue team will help in the search for a man missing on the Greek island of Zante.

John Tossell from Bridgend did not return to the hotel he was staying at with his partner Gillian after going for a walk on 17 June.

The 73-year-old was on the third day of a holiday and had gone to the monastery on Mount Skopos, near the village of Argassi.

Authorities in Greece have called off their search.

Western Beacons Mountain Rescue team offered to help, and fundraised for flights and accommodation as well as receiving help from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office via Bridgend MP Madeleine Moon.

The first six members of the 13-strong team will fly out on Friday, including Gareth Hopkins, who has family connections with Mr Tossell.

"I feel an affinity with him and we just want to go out and help the family," he said.

Image caption Gareth Hopkins will fly to Zante on Friday

"I think our team probably offers an extra level of technical capability, some of the ground and terrain is very steep.

"We've equipment, we've personal kit and the plan is to meet up with the local rescue authority, as well as some of my family members to get an indication of the required search areas and likely areas we need to have a look at."

A further seven people are expected to join the search later, which Mr Hopkins expects will go on for five to seven days depending on developments.

Gillian's son, Leigh Griffiths, 46, said previously: "I don't think we have any chance of finding John alive", and criticised Greek police, saying they did not check CCTV properly.

Image copyright Family Photo

A local restaurant had clearer images of Mr Tossell walking down the street and from that Mr Griffiths said they were able to work out which side of the mountain he would have walked up.

"If the police would have done this earlier we could have focused the search on that one point of the Skopos mountain," he said.

"I think this would have given us more of a chance of finding John."

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