x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Anniversary of British Navy's Timmy MacColl missing in Dubai

On the anniversary of the disappearance of British seaman Timmy MacColl, authorities are no closer to knowing what happened that night.

Timmy MacColl, the British sailor, was last seen hopping into a taxi after exiting the Rock Bottom Cafe in Bur Dubai. Lee Hoagland / The National
Timmy MacColl, the British sailor, was last seen hopping into a taxi after exiting the Rock Bottom Cafe in Bur Dubai. Lee Hoagland / The National

DUBAI // A year ago tomorrow British seaman Timmy MacColl walked out through the doorway of the Rock Bottom Cafe, stepped between the two motorbikes that stand on either side of the entrance, and vanished.

Mr MacColl, who was 27, had been enjoying an evening out with shipmates at the biker-themed club in the Regent Palace Hotel, Bur Dubai.

He was put into a taxi by his friends just after 2am and set off towards Port Rashid, where his ship, HMS Westminster, had docked the previous day. He never reached the vessel.

Despite an intensive investigation led by Dubai Police, searches of the port by British navy divers and months of campaigning and appeals for information by his family, no trace of him has been found.

Now his wife Rachael, 26, and the rest of the family are preparing for the heartbreaking anniversary of his disappearance.

The MacColls, who live in the British navy town of Gosport in Hampshire, have three children - Cameron, 7, Skye, 5, and baby Eriskay, who was born last September and has never known her father.

Caroline Dinenage, the family's MP, said: "My heart goes out to his wife Rachael and their three young children during this incredibly difficult time. I will continue to ensure channels of communication between Dubai and the UK are as open and efficient as possible and will do all I can to help move this forward."

Friends and family rallied around in the months after her husband's disappearance, posting messages of support on a Bring Timmy Home Facebook page.

An anonymous benefactor offered a Dh1.5 million reward to anyone providing information that led to Mr MacColl being found. However, the months passed without any firm leads emerging, and in February Mrs MacColl closed the Facebook page.

csimpson@thenational.ae