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Tuesday June 3, 2014 MYT 11:20:00 AM
Tuesday June 3, 2014 MYT 2:44:44 PM
by nicholas cheng
Rescue officers say a prayer before setting off for Tuesday's search operation for missing Briton Gareth Huntley.
PULAU TIOMAN: The search for missing Briton Gareth Huntley, 34, which entered its seventh day Tuesday, has been narrowed to a three-kilometre radius area northeast of the Lubuk Teja waterfall.
A team of 33 commandos, police personnel, and Rela and Fire and Rescue department officials departed for the Juara Turtle Project in Kg Juara here at 8am and is expected to spend the night searching two-map squares of the jungle for Huntley.
"We have some clues that he might be in this area. So we are only going to focus our search on these two-map squares today," said Rompin OCPD Deputy Supt Johari Yahaya, who did not elaborated on the clues.
He said the two-map squares; 1.5km in size each, were 10km away from the Lubuk Teja waterfall and were now the best bet for where conservation volunteer may be.
DSP Johari said this has been the longest and toughest search for a missing person on the island.
"Normally, it wouldn't have taken this long.
"Though the conditions of the search area are challenging with dense jungle and a lot of slippery rocks, our team is willing to risk going to these dangerous places to find him.
"Maybe he has fallen off a steep area and is unable to move," he added.
DSP Johari assured Huntley's family that all efforts are being made in the search, including mounting an air and coastal search for Huntley.
"I think they are happy with our work so far," he said.
Official reports state that Huntley, a London accountant on sabbatical, arrived at the Juara Turtle project on May 24, where he intended to serve as a volunteer.
On May 27, Huntley informed his chalet management that he was going for a trek to the Lubuk Teja waterfall at around noon.
The journey was only meant to take one hour and 15 minutes.
Huntley failed to return to his chalet by 5pm, prompting his friends and some villagers to organise a small search for him.
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