Navy ‘baffled’ by case of missing Gosport sailor in Dubai

MISSING Timmy MacColl
MISSING Timmy MacColl
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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THE Royal Navy says it is baffled by the disappearance of a Gosport sailor in Dubai.

Leading Seaman Timmy MacColl, 27, has been missing since getting into a taxi in the early hours of May 27 after a night off from duties with his ship HMS Westminster.

Family members of the father-of-two, including his pregnant wife Rachael, are desperately trying to find out what happened to him.

But authorities in Dubai have so far drawn a blank.

Lieutenant Commander Mark Hankey, of the Combined Maritime Forces command centre in Bahrain, said yesterday: ‘This case is highly unusual. We simply don’t have cases of servicemen going AWOL any more.

‘Obviously the Royal Navy, the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Embassy in Dubai are working very closely with Dubai police.

‘But it’s quite baffling for everyone that it’s been three weeks without any movement in the case.’

Dubai police are yet to make a statement on their investigation – despite several requests from The News.

Reports suggest searches have been conducted in and around Port Rashid where Westminster was alongside for a break from anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf.

It emerged last night that taxi drivers in Dubai have been offered a reward for information about Timmy.

The amount of the cash reward has not been disclosed, but one driver confirmed he’d received an appeal via text message last week.

‘The missing man was not in my taxi, that’s all I know,’ the driver told Gulf News.

LS MacColl, who served in Westminster in operations off the coast of Libya last year, has not been seen since two shipmates put him in a cab outside Regent Palace Hotel, near the Rock Bottom Cafe where he’d been drinking until the early hours of Sunday, May 27.