Gareth Huntley: Mother joins search in Malaysia jungle

Gareth Huntley did not arrive back at the charity project where he was volunteering.

Related Stories

The mother of missing British trekker Gareth Huntley has arrived in Malaysia to "be here when they find him".

Mr Huntley, 34, of Cricklewood, north London, has not been seen since going trekking on Tioman Island on Tuesday.

Prime Minister David Cameron has spoken to his Malaysian counterpart about the search.

Over 100 people have been looking for Mr Huntley, but the Malaysian government was criticised for its initial lack of action.

Janet Southwell with her son Gareth Huntley Janet Southwell said it has been a "roller coaster of emotions"

Mr Huntley's mother, Janet Southwell, said she believed her son had been injured but was still alive.

She arrived in Malaysia on Monday and said she wanted to join the search for her son.

She told the BBC: "I want to see the area for myself, absolutely, get a feel for where he's lost, where he's missing.

"I just want to be here when they find him, I think he will want to see a familiar face when they find him."

Malaysia thanked

The British Government said it had been assured "all available search assets" were involved in the hunt, which includes police officers and rescue teams.

The Malaysian government has insisted all available resources are being used in the search after Mrs Southwell criticised their initial efforts.

A spokesman for Number 10 said David Cameron had spoken to prime minister Najib Razak of Malaysia and thanked him for the efforts made by authorities over the past few days to find Mr Huntley.

Mr Cameron was considering what more the UK could do to help, added the spokesman.

A local Foreign Office diplomat has arrived to co-ordinate the rescue effort from the ground.

Emotional 'roller coaster'

Mr Huntley set off to visit a waterfall on the island, off the south-eastern coast of the country's mainland, on Tuesday.

He told friends he would be back at the charity project where he was volunteering by 14:00, but failed to return.

East coast of Tiomen The terrain is said to be very difficult to navigate around on foot
Malaysian Police officers engaged in the search Police in Malaysia issued photographs of the search on its Facebook page
Rescuers in Malaysia
Malaysian rescuers

Ms Southwell, from Bradford, has been critical of efforts made so far to find her son, but told BBC 5 live she hoped the search would resume at daylight.

"My grateful thanks to David Cameron and the British government. I'm sure their involvement has really helped things," she said.

"It's a roller coaster of emotions. You know it's despair one minute and hope the next and back again.

"Gareth's quite a resilient character, he's a determined young man and I'm feeling really positive that with all this effort we are going to find him.

"He may be injured but we are going to find him and we will bring him out alive."

Mr Huntley's girlfriend Kit Natariga, who has also flown out to the island, wrote on Facebook that it was "absolutely crucial to act fast and continue to push the authorities and rescue teams".

But she admitted time to find him was "running out".

Significant assets

Last week, Mr Huntley's family raised concerns about the rescue effort.

His brother Mark had said police did not initially join the search and for days it was only his friends and local people who were looking for him.

Ms Southwell also appealed directly to Prime Minister David Cameron to put pressure on the Malaysian government to step up the search.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, who is in Malaysia, raised the matter with his counterpart on Sunday.

Malaysian Defence Minister Hishamuddin Hussein with Philip Hammond The Malaysian defence minister said he was working with his UK counterpart to find Mr Huntley

He "was assured that the Malaysian authorities would do all they could to locate him and had already deployed significant assets", the Foreign Office said in a statement.

On his official Twitter feed, the Malaysian Defence Minister Hishamuddin Hussein also said he was helping to find missing Mr Huntley.

line break
Waterfall trek

Steve Riches, who has attempted the trek to the waterfall, said: "It says two hours but once you get beyond the rubber tree hinterland, you enter the jungle proper and the path is not clearly marked.

"We crossed a very boulder-strewn river bed and then realised we were lost and with some difficulty, we retraced our steps until we hit the track.

"It is slippery and you can take a fall - I did - and we just played safe and came back to the start. Others say they did it ok."

He added: "Once you've headed off one of the few tracks, and are away from the rubber plantation strip, you really are in difficult virgin jungle with rattan palm that can rip your skin to pieces.

"It can be so dense that even a companion 15m (50ft) away cannot be heard.

"I saw a python, and there were vipers, and you get covered with bloodsucking leeches, but frankly the greatest dangers are not from nature but from falling or just being completely lost without water."

line break
Limited daylight

BBC News correspondent Jennifer Pak, who is in Kuala Lumpur, said the area was a dense jungle.

"It's extremely difficult because they've been experiencing rainfall every night, [and there is] more to come in the coming days," she said.

"Also the search has been limited to daylight hours so as soon as it gets dark at 19:00 local time, it has to stop.

"Even if the pathway he was using was well trodden, it's extremely wet, slippery, so it would have been very difficult."

Map of the jungle trek The trek is said to take longer than the two hours mentioned on this map
Juara Turtle Project Mr Huntley had been working at the Juara Turtle Project, pictured here three years ago

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London

Weather

London

23 °C 13 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    Have your say 14:46:

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like your feedback about this service.

     
  2.  
    Sherlock's double 14:30:

    Benedict Cumberbatch stands next to his waxwork which is taking shape at Madame Tussauds.

    Benedict Cumberbatch and wax work

    The model, which has so far gone through two sessions of sculpting, will be unveiled at the Baker Street attraction later this year.

     
  3.  
    Private landlords 'to pay for licensing' 14:10:

    Private landlords in Brent will be forced to pay £350 to subscribe to a compulsory five-year licensing scheme after council chiefs gave the go-ahead to the proposals.

    The plans are aimed at clamping down on rogue landlords who allow their tenants to live in insanitary and overcrowded conditions, according to the Brent and Kilburn Times.

     
  4.  
    News on the hour 13:58: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    In the news bulletin at 14:00: The mother of 24-year-old Dean Mayley pays tribute to her son after a 17-year-old boy is convicted of murdering him and three others are found guilty of manslaughter and attempted robbery.

    Clockwise: Jamal Jones, Michael Mensah, Miguel Leiba and Ryan Beresford Clockwise: Jamal Jones, Michael Mensah, Miguel Leiba and Ryan Beresford were all found guilty of their part in Dean Mayley's death
     
  5.  
    Shotgun search 13:39:

    Scotland Yard has carried out a ground and air search around Braybrook Street near Wormwood Scrubs in Hammersmith after reports of someone with a shotgun. MPS helicopters tweeted: 2 persons now stopped by Officers.......We are now leaving.

     
  6.  
    BBC London News 13:14: Katharine Carpenter Reporter and presenter

    Join us at 13:30 on BBC One when we'll be live at the Old Bailey where a 17-year-old has been found guilty of murdering a man with the mental age of nine in West London.

    We'll also have more on BBC London's exclusive report into local councils' anti terrorism funding.

     
  7.  
    News on the hour 13:00: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    On the news bulletin at 13:00: A 17-year-old boy has been found guilty of murdering a man during a mugging in west London and three other teenagers are convicted of manslaughter and attempted robbery.

     
  8.  
    Half-baked exit 12:49: Nuala McCann BBC News

    Northern Ireland's man in the Great British Bake Off, Iain Watters, has admitted losing his cool on Wednesday after his ice cream sank into a wet gloop in the heat.

    Iain Watters

    Iain, who lives in London, was knocked out of the baking competition after throwing his attempt at a baked alaska in the bin and storming out the tent.

     
  9.  
    Invictus Games to hold service 12:41:

    A special service will take place at London's inaugural Invictus Games for injured servicemen to remember those who have been killed or injured in conflict.

    Prince Harry playing sitting volleyball Prine Harry at the launch of the Invictus Games

    The multi-faith service will take place on 11 September at London's Lee Valley Athletics Centre, which hosts the track and field events that afternoon.

     
  10.  
    Tube workers 'need to talk' 12:33:

    RMT Union members working on the Tube will no longer work overtime or take part in developments courses in a dispute over plans to close ticket offices at a loss of 960 jobs.

    London Underground said: "We have guaranteed that there will be no compulsory redundancies [but] the only way to resolve the issues raised is to continue talking and not threatening further industrial action."

     
  11.  
    Man jailed for noxious fluid attack 12:22:

    A man has been jailed for two years and four months after admitting splashing a noxious fluid over six strangers in a "vile and violent" attack outside the Lightbox nightclub in Vauxhall on 8 June.

    Jonathan Lynn, 29, pleaded guilty at Inner London Crown Court to causing the three men actual bodily harm and possessing an offensive weapon.

    He also admitted splashing the liquid on a fourth man and a female passer-by before he assaulted a further man.

     
  12.  
    NFL returns to Regent Street 12:14:

    Organisers have confirmed NFL on Regent Street will return to London on 27 September, the day before the Oakland Raiders take on the Miami Dolphins.

    Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub throws a pass

    The event will include on-stage interviews with the players, the Oakland Raiders cheerleaders - the Raiderettes - will perform and you'll have chance to try out the sport.

     
  13.  
    Dean Mayley killing 12:04: BREAKING NEWS

    Acton 19-year-old Ryan Beresford, Greenford 18-year-old Michael Mensah and a 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons have been convicted of the manslaughter of Dean Mayley.

    Dean Mayley

    The three denied murder. They were also convicted of the attempted robbery of the 24-year-old, who had a mental age of nine.

     
  14.  
    News on the hour 12:00: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    On the radio news bulletin at noon: More on the murder conviction of a 17-year-old boy who stabbed 24-year-old Dean Mayley through the heart. The victim had a mental age of nine.

     
  15.  
    Boy convicted of murder 11:48: BREAKING NEWS

    A 17-year-old boy has been convicted of murdering Dean Mayley, a 24-year-old man with the mental age of nine, in a knifepoint mugging in Greenford. Three others are awaiting their verdicts.

     
  16.  
    Football clash disappointment 11:43:

    BBC London Sport tweets: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce disappointed to have not set up a League Cup clash with Leyton Orient. #WHFC

     
  17.  
    Fire engine 'not returned for year' 11:36:

    A fire engine "temporarily" removed from Romford fire station to provide cover during a strike last August has still not been returned a year on, according to the Romford Reporter.

     
  18.  
    Wembley 'could host' Euro 2028 11:28:

    The Football Association is confident of Wembley's chances to stage the Euro 2020 final and has not ruled out the possibility of hosting Euro 2028.

    Wembley stadium

    FA general secretary Alex Horne said "we're really confident with our bid" and hopes England's national stadium could stage the semi-finals and final in six years.

     
  19.  
    Plane makes emergency landing 11:19:

    An Easyjet plane carrying 157 passengers has made an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport after smoke was detected in the cockpit.

    The Airbus A320 was en route from Liverpool to Naples when it touched down at about 07.20 BST.

    Easyjet said the plane landed safely and the passengers "remained calm".

     
  20.  
    Hello not a Kitty 11:09: Amelia Butterly Newsbeat reporter

    You may be forgiven if you thought the Japanese cartoon character, Hello Kitty, was a cat.

    Hello Kitty

    It turns out, for the uninformed, she's actually a British school kid called Kitty White who lives just outside London, according to her creators.

     
  21.  
    News on the hour 11:00: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    In the news at 11:00: Labour's accused the government of increasing the risk of British people travelling to Syria to fight by cutting the funding it provides to local councils - including 19 in London - to prevent radicalisation.

     
  22.  
    Industrial action for Tube workers 10:51:

    London Underground members of the RMT Union have been instructed not to work any overtime or participate in development courses from next Wednesday, in the latest round of industrial action.

    The dispute is over plans to close all ticket offices and cut 960 jobs.

     
  23.  
    Rugby star assault sentencing due 10:42:

    Welsh international rugby star Ian Gough is due to be sentenced at Croydon Magistrates' Court later for attacking his ex-girlfriend, Sophia Cahill.

    Ian Gough

    Gough was convicted of assaulting the former Miss Wales by pushing her into the passenger door of his campervan outside her home in London, aggravating injuries she had from a car accident.

     
  24.  
    Visiting the Crystal Palace 10:33:

    Dave Walker recounts his visits to the remains of Joseph Paxton's Crystal Palace as a child and its history with some great pictures and paintings as part of Kensington and Chelsea's The Library Time Machine blog.

    Crystal Palace
     
  25.  
    Come friendly blocks 10:25:

    BBC London 94.9 presenter Richard Main tweets: In @StPancrasInt John Betjeman gazes in wonder at the station's new tribute to Tetris

    John Betjeman and tetrs
     
  26.  
    Slow traffic on A13 10:13: Paul Murphy-Kasp Journalist, BBC London

    On the roads, the A13 westbound is slow into town from Rainham to Dagenham after a collision blocked two lanes earlier on.

    Get up to date travel information on BBC London Travel News or on Twitter @BBCTravelAlert.

     
  27.  
    News on the hour 09:58: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    Coming up on the news bulletin at 10:00: Labour claims funding for the government's counter-terrorism programme Prevent has been cut from £17m to £1.7m, meaning the 19 local authority areas in London deemed to be high risk receive just £68,000 a year to fight terrorism.

     
  28.  
    RMT action announced 09:48:

    BBC London's transport correspondent Tom Edwards tweets: @RMTunion announce action short of a strike in ongoing dispute over tube ticket office closures. Overtime & development courses ban. 1/2

    And: .@RMTunion: "many locations will be left without sufficient staff to safely and effectively run stations." 2/2

     
  29.  
    The radicalisation of Londoners 09:26: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    Penny Smith sits in for Vanessa and asks whether enough is being done to stop young Londoners getting radicalised after the Government has been accused of cutting its counter-terrorism programme by 90%.

    Should we be doing more? You can listen live on BBC London 94.9 and contact the team on 020 7224 2000.

     
  30.  
    Gloomy start to day 09:14:

    BBC London 94.9's Richard Main tweets: August in London

    St Pancras Station
     
  31.  
    Travel 08:52: Paul Murphy-Kasp Journalist, BBC London

    On the trains, London Midland, Virgin Trains & Southern have delays of 15-20 minutes through Watford Junction after a train broke down.

    And on the London Overground there's no service between Surrey Quays and New Cross because of works. London Bridge Station is closed to First Capital Connect and Southern services while works take place. Southeastern are stopping as normal.

     
  32.  
    Top headlines
     
  33.  
    'Bruise' suit 08:37:

    Researchers at Imperial College London have designed a suit which helps identify if Paralympic athletes have been injured.

    Paralympic suit

    The "bruise" suit makes injuries visible so those who have limited sensation in their limbs know if they've been hurt and can get treatment quickly.

     
  34.  
    Counter terrorism funding 08:21: Anjana Gadgil BBC London News

    Government funding for the counter-terrorism programme Prevent is down 90%. Nineteen at-risk boroughs in London now share just £1.7m.

    Hear my full report on BBC London 94.9.

     
  35.  
    Gunners through to Champions League 08:09: Phil McNulty Chief football writer

    Alexis Sanchez's first goal for Arsenal since his £35m move from Barcelona claimed the prize of a place in the Champions League group stage for the 17th successive season on a tense night at Emirates Stadium.

    Alexis Sanchez

    The Chilean struck the goal that edged out Besiktas but Arsenal had to survive nervous moments - including playing the last 14 minutes with 10 men after Mathieu Debuchy was sent off - before winning this qualifier.

     
  36.  
    Weather latest 08:03:

    Patchy rain will clear away to the east by mid-morning, with most parts then dry with some sunny spells. However, there may be the odd shower later in the day.

    Highs of 22C (72F).

     
  37.  
    08:00: Beth Rose BBC News Online

    Good morning, I'll be bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather from London today for BBC Local Live.

    You can also send your news, pictures and comments to london.locallive@bbc.co.uk.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Child museumChild's play

    Should children be allowed to run wild in museums? BBC Culture investigates

Programmes

  • A map of social media interactionsClick Watch

    Twitter's map of the Middle East conflict – how the two sides react to each other on social media

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.