Wife’s heartache as missing Gosport sailor Timmy MacColl is declared dead

Timmy MacColl
Timmy MacColl
jpns-19-08-17 retro Aug 2017

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MISSING sailor Timmy MacColl has been declared dead after an application by Royal Navy top brass against the wishes of his wife.

The 28-year-old’s devastated wife, Rachael, of Gosport, was handed a death certificate by the navy despite her plea for Dubai police to keep looking into his disappearance two years ago,

Rachael, 27, said: ‘Technically now Timmy has been dead from the day he went missing. It’s just absolutely beyond me.

‘I fought the Royal Navy for months. I said I didn’t support the application for a death certificate. They told me “that’s fine,” they didn’t need me to.

‘Because he was a civil servant and because of his military contract it was out of my hands.

‘They informed me. They didn’t involve me. I didn’t have a say.’

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said the death had been registered ‘in full agreement with his wife’.

As reported, LS MacColl went missing in Port Rashid where his ship HMS Westminster was docked.

Subsequent searches of the port using minesweepers, divers, dogs and heat-seeking helicopters and planes, failed to unearth clues.

But Rachael, who gave birth to the couple’s third child, Eriskay, five months after he vanished, revealed: ‘The death certificate says Timmy is “presumed drowned”.

‘That was about the only scenario that had been ruled out.

‘The last independent witnesses said he was planning to go back into the city.

‘They wanted to put something on the certificate, not just “unknown”. They had to put something on it. So that’s what was decided based on the evidence from the Royal Navy.

‘They didn’t have any evidence from Dubai Police, the lead force. They asked for an evidence pack from them but didn’t get it. It’s a nightmare.’

Navy personnel handed the certificate to Rachael on April 16 – making her a widow.

She added: ‘It just shocked me because I thought they couldn’t do it. But they did. I was properly gobsmacked.

‘They even refused to inform Timmy’s mother, Sheena, leaving me to have to tell her.

‘The navy said that I would be able to get a pension and that was their reason for doing it.

‘The way I see it is that they pretty much spent more time doing this than they did looking for him.’

She has now been given notice to quit her married quarters.

A Royal Navy spokeswoman said: ‘The responsibility to register the death of Leading Seaman MacColl lies with the Royal Navy as his employer.

‘However we can be clear that we have fully consulted LS MacColl’s wife throughout, and continue to support her and her family at this difficult time.

‘His death has been registered, in full agreement with his wife.’

Sailor was last seen being put into taxi outside a bar

LEADING Seaman Timmy MacColl will have been missing for exactly two years tomorrow.

The 28-year-old, from Gosport, spent his last known hours swimming at the Seafarers’ Mission in Dubai before going on to the Rock Bottom bar and restaurant visited by sailors in the Middle Eastern city’s Bur Dubai.

There he was put in a taxi by two shipmates, a male and a female, at around 2am on Sunday, May 27, 2012.

A massive probe by Dubai detectives saw them interview the Bangladeshi taxi driver who dropped Timmy off at a tea shack in sprawling Port Rashid where his ship HMS Westminster was docked.