Ramon Morey and Antonio Orantos, the Guardia Civil lieutenant colonel, speaking on Sunday.


On Sunday, the national government delegate in the Balearics, Ramon Morey, sought to put an end to a row which had broken out over the use of the Guardia Civil's helicopter by Prime Minister Sánchez when he came to Majorca on Thursday.

The ABC newspaper had reported that when Sánchez came to see for himself the damage caused by Storm Gloria, he was flown to the northeast of the island in the helicopter. This meant, according to ABC, that the helicopter had been diverted from the search for the missing canyoner, David Cabrera, who went missing in the Torrente de na Mora in the Tramuntana Mountains on Monday.

Morey said that the use of the helicopter by the prime minister did not represent any change to the search for the missing person. "At no time did the use of the helicopter by Pedro Sánchez interfere with the search for David Cabrera." The delegate added that the helicopter had flown over Na Mora on Wednesday. This had been a specific exercise to see if anything (or anyone) could be spotted.

On Thursday, the helicopter was waiting at Son Sant Joan Airport to collect Sánchez. It was in Cala Ratjada for eighteen minutes before returning. Afterwards, the helicopter was flown to Ibiza, where the jacket of the missing Briton had been found. On Friday, the helicopter was once more used in Na Mora and also went to the assistance of an injured hiker on Puig Tomir. On Saturday and Sunday, the helicopter was being used as part of the sea search for David Cabrera.

Morey explained that the helicopter offered the best way for Sánchez to witness the damage and insisted that this did not represent any neglect of the search task. On Thursday, he added, the search effort had involved the Guardia Civil's mountain rescue and diving units, while on Friday, the decision was taken to expand the search area. On the Thursday, he noted, the helicopter belonging to the government's Ibanat agency had been used for an hour.

A "super-helicopter" with powerful cameras and specially equipped for sea missions was flown to the Balearics from Madrid on Saturday to help with the searches for what are now thought to be just two people; a body, believed to be that of a missing Spaniard, was found in Ibiza on Saturday.