x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Missing British sailor's relative returns to UK

Still no sign of sailor Timmy MacColl two weeks after he disappeared in Dubai.

A relative of missing British sailor Timmy MacColl has returned to the UK after a five-day trip to Dubai to assist with the investigation into his disappearance.

Neil Cunningham, the uncle of Leading Seaman MacColl's wife, Rachael, travelled to the UAE last weekend to help police and to drum up awareness among the community.

Although the police are yet to make an official statement, Mr Cunningham was able to meet with the last person to see Mr MacColl after he exited the Rock Bottom Cafe in Bur Dubai at 2am on May 27.

Identified only as 'Colin,' the man was in the cab Mr MacColl entered - along with a woman - said one staff member at the bar.

"Colin has been located and has been very helpful," said Mr Cunningham, in a post made yesterday on a Facebook page dedicated to Mr MacColl.

"I am quite clear on a lot of facts now, and will update this [post] when I have spoken to Rachael.

"We must keep the belief. I will not give up," said the father of one in a later message to the almost 117,000 people who signed up to keep track of the case.

Mr MacColl, 27, whose wife is due to give birth to their third child this autumn, spent part of the day before his disappearance with several of his fellow sailors at the opening of Ducatti Cafe in Dubai Mall.

Believed to have been wearing a red polo-shirt, one of several gifts handed out at the launch of the cafe, on the night he vanished, there has been no trace of the Scot for over two weeks.

Family and friends yesterday thanked Mr Cunningham for his efforts.

"Neil will be home in a few hours. Can't wait to give him a hug from his mum. He's done a good job, and certain things are being made clearer. Thank you all," said Brenda Cunningham.

Dubai Police were unavailable for comment.

A Royal Navy liaison said that there were no updates, but that the search was ongoing.

zalhassani@thenational.ae