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British hiker, 53, dies on mountain walk in Canary Islands with wife

The man was reported missing on Monday while hiking at Pico de Las Nieves  (Google Maps)
The man was reported missing on Monday while hiking at Pico de Las Nieves (Google Maps)

A British man has died in a tragic accident in the Canary Islands while embarking on a scenic mountain hike with his wife.

Local authorities said they had recovered the body of a man after he had disappeared during a walk near Pico de Las Nieves in Gran Canaria on Monday.

His body was later retrieved on Tuesday afternoon following an intense search involving the police, civil guard, and an emergency rescue helicopter.

“At the time indicated above [5pm on Monday], the Emergency and Security Coordinating Center (CECOES) of the Government of the Canary Islands received an alert in which it was reported that a person had gone for a walk from the Pico de Las Nieves viewpoint and hours later he had not returned,” a statement from the regional emergency services read.

“At around 1pm [on Tuesday] an emergency and rescue helicopter located the body of a deceased man and, after authorization from the judicial authority, evacuated it to the nearby parking lot of the Pico de las Nieves viewpoint where it was made available to the police.”

According to local reports, the man’s wife raised the alarm at 5pm on Monday and the hunt was suspended just before 8pm as it went dark before light returned and the search continued on Tuesday morning.

The UK Foreign Office confirmed the death and told The Independent: “We are supporting the family of a British man who died in Gran Canaria and are in contact with the local authorities.”

The couple are thought to have been on holiday, but this has not been confirmed by local police or the Foreign Office.

At 1,949 metres above sea level, the peak of Pico de Las Nieves is considered to be the highest lookout point in Gran Canaria and the second-highest peak on the island.

The mountain’s name translates into “snow peak” and is easily accessible by car, bike or foot. There is rarely any snow on the mountain and its name instead refers to several covered pits for holding snow that were built directly into the mountainsides in the 17th century.

The man’s death comes just months after a British woman, 39, was found dead hiking in a mountainous areas of the Canary Island of Fuerteventura in August.

She was not publicly identified by police at the time of her death but the regional force said at the time: “She was wearing sports clothes and appears to have been out hiking on her own.

“There were no signs of visible violence on her body but it will be up to the autopsy to determine the cause of death and discover whether it was heat-related which is obviously one possibility.”