Ben Garland memorial ride ensures missing biker's name lives on – BBC News

1661027680 Ben Garland memorial ride ensures missing biker039s name lives on
1661027680 Ben Garland memorial ride ensures missing biker039s name lives on

Image caption,

Mark Garland said his son Ben would always be remembered

Motorcyclists have gathered for a memorial ride in honour of a missing man who is believed to be have been swept out to sea off Ibiza.

Friends and family of Ben Garland were among the riders taking part in the second Ride to the Tide event.

Mr Garland, 24, from Southwick, Wiltshire, went missing off the coast of northern Ibiza in January 2020.

“The event is to remember Ben to ensure his name lives on,” said his father Mark, 57.

A man on a motorbike

Image source, Mark Garland

Image caption,

Ben Garland is thought to have been swept out to sea

Ben Garland had been working in Ibiza and had gone to the Portinatx area to take photographs in the aftermath of Storm Gloria, when it is thought he was caught by a wave and swept into the sea.

Despite an extensive search by the Spanish emergency services, his body has never been found.

His father Mark said it had been a “really tough” time after also losing another of his four children, Charlotte, to cancer in March.

“The hardest part for me is not having Ben’s body. This is a way of remembering Ben and for everyone to come and pay their respects.

“He will always be remembered,” added Mr Garland, who works as a bus driver in Bath.

Kirsten Dillon

Image caption,

Ben’s girlfriend Kirsten Dillon said she would always love him

Ben’s girlfriend, Kirsten Dillon, attended the ride and said she would “always love him”.

“He was really funny, really adventurous, and liked to tour the island on his bike,” she said.

“It was really hard. I didn’t cope for a long time but when I think about him now I have happy memories and I smile.

“I think about him every day and think I always will,” she added.

Ben's friend on bike

Image caption,

Tom Eggleton took part on Ben’s Harley Davidson motorcycle which he had been riding when he went missing

Ben’s best friend, Tom Eggleton, said the ride was a celebration of his life.

“Thankfully it’s fantastic weather so we can get out and put a smile on our faces.

“He was a biker through and through so will be very much smiling down from above and very proud of what we’re doing today,” he added.

The ride from Trowbridge to Poole is raising money for the RNLI.

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