About 30 people accompanied by some 30 civil protection officers and policemen embarked on an extensive search yesterday morning in the hope of finding Geoffrey Morgan, the 80-year old man who has been missing for nine days.

The search team, which included two dogs, was made up of members of the Gozo branch of the British Residents Association, the Civil Protection Department, Red Cross, the Emergency Fire and Rescue Unit and the Emergency Response Rescue Corp among others.

The volunteers were briefed and then divided into groups of four. Accompanied by a policeman or CPD officer, they searched the area between Xagħra and Marsalforn for about three hours.

CPD Unit operations manager John Gera said the search resumed at 4 p.m. and they combed various localities, including Qala, Għajnsielem and Għasri.

Mr Morgan, who suffers from dementia, is in Malta on holiday. He was reported missing on June 5.

Informed about the report on the following day, the CPD unit in Gozo set out on a rescue mission, looking for the man. There have been several other organised searches since. CPD station officer at Gozo, Peter Mercieca said this was one of the hardest cases he had ever worked on because they were looking for a person without any leads to guide them.

He recounted a possible sighting of Mr Morgan near the heliport. However, when approached, it turned out the man was not the elderly Briton they were looking for.

“Even though the chances are remote, we will not give up and will keep on looking,” Mr Mercieca said.

Mr Morgan’s two daughters joined in the search.

Carol Morgan yesterday met the police to “voice concerns about the investigations and plan the strategic way forward”.

The family was assured that more officers would be deployed to look for the man. Speaking before the search got under way, the family expressed its concern that this might be their last chance to find Mr Morgan, said SPCA Gozo member Mark Thorogood, who took part in the search.

Mr Morgan is of medium build, has short grey hair and is about six feet tall. The man was last seen wearing a dark red striped shirt, khaki coloured shorts and black shoes.

Mr Morgan, whose mother was Maltese, has been visiting Gozo every year for a number of years. Anyone who has any information is urged to call in confidence the police in Gozo on 2294 4200, on 119 or contact the nearest police station.

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