x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

British sailor missing for 244 days in Dubai 'not forgotten' by police

The family of missing British seaman Timmy MacColl says last week's meetings between his wife, Rachael, and Dubai Police went "extremely well" and were "very productive".

Timmy MacColl's wife Rachael travelled to Dubai to hold meetings with authorities. Photo courtesy the MacColl family.
Timmy MacColl's wife Rachael travelled to Dubai to hold meetings with authorities. Photo courtesy the MacColl family.

DUBAI // The family of missing British seaman Timmy MacColl says last week's meetings between his wife, Rachael, and Dubai Police went "extremely well" and were "very productive".

Mrs MacColl, 26, her uncle Neil Cunningham and her grandfather Jim Cunningham arrived in Dubai last Monday and flew home to the UK on Friday.

She and her uncle spent two days discuss the investigation with Dubai Police and officers from Britain's Royal Navy police.

A statement released on the Bring Timmy Home Facebook page said there was no new information to share with friends and supporters.

However the statement continued: "The meetings have gone extremely well and the family is grateful for the time the Dubai authorities lent to them during their visit.

"They were able to see the extensive work that has been done and continues to be done in the search for Timmy. Both of the teams exchanged information and will continue to work together.

"Unfortunately Timmy still remains unaccounted for as we enter day 244. However, the family left Dubai with the peace of mind that their beloved husband, son and father has not been neglected nor forgotten.

"The trip has provided the family with the confidence and reassurance they needed and allowed some of their own questions to be answered."

Mr MacColl, 28, from Gosport, Hampshire, disappeared in Dubai on May 27 last year after his ship, HMS Westminster, docked at Port Rashid.

He was last seen stepping into a taxi alone outside the Rock Bottom Cafe at the Regent Palace Hotel in Bur Dubai just after 2am.

The MacColls have three children - Cameron, 7, Skye, 4, and baby Eriskay, who has never met her father as she was born in September.

The family has been calling for support for a petition urging Britain's House of Commons, to hold a debate about the investigation because of concerns that investigators were not providing sufficient information. However, following the meetings in Dubai, the petition campaign is being suspended.

The statement said: "The petition has currently achieved the majority of the objectives we set out for it to do and for now we will not be pushing for more signatures.

"We are not completely closing the petition and will keep it active for those who still wish to continue sign. If in the next few weeks we see that we need to push it again then we will."

The statement thanked the 102,000 members of the Facebook group for their support, and said the family planned to take a break from posting new information as Mrs MacColl and her relatives considered the events of the past week.

"For now they just need to take some time to go and reflect on this past week and talk as a family on the next steps and what the future may hold," said the statement posted by the Facebook group's administrator.

"One thing for sure is that they are not going to give up fighting to find answers to what happened on May 27 and to bring Timmy home where he belongs, one way or another."

A spokesperson for the British navy said: "Members of the Royal Navy police have gone to Dubai to support the MacColl family's meeting with Dubai Police. The Royal Navy police were attending the briefing on the progress of the Dubai Police investigation."

The navy started an inquiry into the way it handles missing persons cases following Mr MacColl's disappearance.

Anyone with information about the case should call Dubai Police headquarters on 04 222 9222 or Al Rafa police station on 04 393 7777, quoting case number 71802012.

csimpson@thenational.ae