A TEAM of eight UK police officers have started digging up a new plot in hopes of finding the remains of sailor Simon Parkes who disappeared in Gibraltar 37 years ago.

The 18-year-old radio operator never got back onboard the HMS Illustrious after going ashore on December 12 1986.

A huge manhunt that followed and other potential digs since have failed to find Parkes, leaving his long-suffering parents without any hope of finally putting their mind to rest.

Hampshire Police is leading the latest dig at an area between Town Range car park and Rock on the Rock club.

The southern England force are backed up by the Royal Gibraltar Police, Ministry of Defence and Isle of Wight Constabulary.

Officers are following a new line of inquiry that they believe might shed some light on what happened that fateful night.

It follows a small excavation of the Town Range car park in August last year that revealed nothing new about the tragic sailor’s disappearance.

Other digs in the past have focused on Trafalgar Cemetery, South Barrack Road and Rosia Lane.

Parkes left the Horseshoe bar saying he was going to get something to eat in 1986.

Witnesses reported seeing someone fitting his description drunk at the Hole in the Wall pub.

Both the Hampshire Police and the local force have appealed for anyone with any further information on his whereabouts to come forward.

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