x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

First Christmas without dad for family of UK sailor missing in Dubai

The wife and young children of British seaman, Timmy MacColl, who went missing in Dubai on May 27, prepare to celebrate their first Christmas without him.

From left, Cameron, Rachael and Skye MacColl with granddad Nigel Brien (Rachael's dad) holding Eriskay on her first Christmas Eve. Courtesy of the MacColl family
From left, Cameron, Rachael and Skye MacColl with granddad Nigel Brien (Rachael's dad) holding Eriskay on her first Christmas Eve. Courtesy of the MacColl family

DUBAI // A smiling mum and her young children pose for the camera next to a Christmas tree covered with lights and decorations.

It is a scene that is being repeated in homes around the world today - but, tragically, for this family, there is someone missing from the picture. This is the wife of Timmy MacColl, the British seaman who disappeared while on shore leave in Dubai. This year, she poses with her three children and her father.

No trace of her husband has been found, so Rachael, 25, and the children - Cameron, 7, Skye, 4, and baby Eriskay, - will spend Christmas Day without him.

Although the family, who live in Gosport, Hampshire, are surrounded by loving friends and relatives, including Mrs MacColl's father, Nigel Brien, nothing can make up for his absence. Little Eriskay was born in September and has never met her father.

Mr MacColl, 28, disappeared on May 27 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.

Mrs MacColl remains optimistic, as she made clear on a UK TV show last week when she said: "Hope's always there."

A £250,000 (Dh1.5 million) reward has been offered for anyone providing information that leads to Mr MacColl being found.

The family is seeking support for a petition calling for a debate on the case in the UK Parliament, and on Sunday reached a new milestone of 14,000 signatures.

csimpson@thenational.ae

Anyone with information about Timmy MacColl's whereabouts should call Dubai Police headquarters on 04 2229222 or Al Rafa police station on 04 3937777, quoting case number 71802012