THE father of missing Trowbridge man Ben Garland has gone back to work for the first time in nine weeks since his son was swept away by waves in Ibiza.

Mark Garland worked his first shift back at work on Monday and posted a message on his Facebook page saying: "First day back. Wasn’t too bad. Not sure what lays ahead as it was very quiet."

Mr Garland, 54, of Frome Road, Southwick, has gone back to his job as a First Group bus driver in the midst of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Garland family is still waiting for news of 24-year-old Ben, who went missing on January 21 after going to the shoreline in Ibiza to film waves crashing against the rocks in the wake of Storm Ciara.

Spanish police and coastguard officers have scaled down their search but have still not yet found his body, although his jacket, identity details and his watch have been found.

Mr Garland worked as a deck hand on one of the luxury superyachts cruising the four largest Balearic islands, Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera.

A crowdfunding appeal set up by a family friend to bring back Ben's body from Spain, when it is found, has now almost reached its £10,000 target.

Mr Garland said on social media: "So close to our target. Please keep sharing this and ask your friends to as well.

"We are all praying that Ben Garland is found soon and when he is we can get some closure and start the grieving process.

"Every penny helps and will help us bring Ben home and give him the send off he so rightly deserves.

"God bless and thank you to all of you who have already donated."

A Remember Ben event at the Farmhouse Inn at Southwick recently raised nearly £1,300 for the appeal.

A charity auction at the |Player's Club in Westbury on March 14 also raised funds which have been split between the Ben Garland Appeal and the Forever Friends Appeal at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

The Garland family have also organised a Ride to the Tide motorcycle ride-out from Trowbridge Rugby Football Club to Poole from 10am on Saturday, August 15 - the coronavirus outbreak permitting.

It will raise funds for the RNLI based in Poole. Motorcyclists of all ages and abilities are being invited to take part.

To donate to the Ben Garland Appeal, go to