Family’s new hope for breakthough in search for missing Gosport sailor

Timmy MacColl
Timmy MacColl
HMS Diamond

Portsmouth destroyer begins nine-month mission in the Gulf

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THE relatives of missing sailor Timmy MacColl are hoping new witnesses hold vital clues about his disappearance.

The 28-year-old leading seaman, from Gosport, was last seen a year ago getting into a taxi outside a Dubai bar.

It was thought he never made it back to his ship, Portsmouth-based HMS Westminster.

But his family now say port workers have come forward to say he arrived at the port, but left again shortly afterwards in another cab.

They say this new information discounts the theory he somehow fell into the Arabian Gulf.

LS MacColl’s relatives now want the Royal Navy to reinterview his colleagues about the events of that night in the hope it might yield fresh answers.

Jim Cunningham, the grandfather of LS MacColl’s wife Rachael, said: ‘As much as we are constantly informed primacy in the investigation remains with Dubai Police, they are only as good as the information supplied to them by the Royal Navy which employs vital witnesses.

‘Dubai police had no access to any witnesses in the golden hours after Timmy’s disappearance because the ship sailed out of Dubai.

‘I therefore would encourage a robust approach to interviewing those who returned on board the ship that night.’

According to LS MacColl’s family, port workers confirmed to them the sailor was seen walking away from his ship and getting into a taxi.

CCTV images viewed by Mrs MacColl and her family during a visit to Dubai in January showed several taxis leaving Port Rashid with passengers between 3am and 6am, when the seaman vanished.

They are now putting out a fresh appeal to taxi drivers to come forward and help .

A Royal Navy spokeswoman said: ‘The Royal Navy remains concerned for the safety of LS MacColl and continues to provide support for his family.

‘This matter is being treated as a missing person case.

‘The Dubai police have primacy for the investigation into LS MacColl’s disappearance and search.

‘It is not appropriate for the Royal Navy police to comment on the nature or progress of the Dubai police investigation.

‘The Ministry of Defence and Royal Navy continue to liaise with and provide assistance to the Dubai authorities, this includes passing on to Dubai police any new information brought to their attention.

‘The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also remains in contact with the Emirati police about their ongoing investigation.’