British holidaymaker found dead in Gambia after missing flight


A drummer who went missing while vacationing in The Gambia has died. Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed on Friday, May 19, per the BBC, that 69-year-old Michael Costain, from Rhayader, Powy, has died. Further information regarding Costain’s death, including his cause of death, is not available at this time.

Costain originally traveled to the West African country for vacation on Wednesday, March 8. He was reported missing after he failed to return home on Monday, March 20, with the Dyfed-Powys Police launching a missing persons appeal last month. According to authorities, Costain spent time in Busumbala, western Gambia, before traveling to the village of Abene in southern Senegal, and he booked a flight home for later in March.

“Dyfed Powys Police is appealing for information on the whereabouts of 69-year-old Michael Costain who has been reported missing from his home in the Rhayader area of Powys,” police said in a statement released on Friday, April 28, Powys County Times reported. “Michael travelled to The Gambia on March 8, 2023, for a holiday and was due to return to the UK on March 20, 2023. It is believed he stayed in the Busumbala area of western Gambia for two days before leaving with the intention to travel to the Abene Village in Cassamance in the southern part of Senegal. Michael has not been seen since and did not return to the UK on the flight he had pre-booked.”


At the time, police asked anyone who had seen Costain or anyone with information to contact them. Police confirmed on May 3 that enquiries into Costain’s whereabouts were ongoing before later announcing that Costain had died. Police said Costain’s death is not being treated as suspicious, though they didn’t offer any further information.

Costain was a percussionist and member of Community Arts Rhayader and District (CARAD) who lead drumming workshops and parades. He reportedly even traveled to Brazil to teach music to children. In a statement, CARAD trustee Peter Cox remembered Costain as a man who “loved travelling to extraordinary places… It feels fitting, in some way, that he would have closed his eyes for the last time having been gazing out of the window watching an exciting new world open up before him. He will be missed by all who knew him.”

Source: BBC