x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Wife of missing UK sailor to fly into Dubai to meet UAE investigators

The meeting with Dubai Police, who are leading the search for Timmy MacColl, and the Royal Navy's special investigation branch is due to take place tomorrow.

British sailor Timmy MacColl who went missing in Dubai is seen here with his wife Rachael. His wife has decided it is time to
British sailor Timmy MacColl who went missing in Dubai is seen here with his wife Rachael. His wife has decided it is time to "come to terms with the fact that we have to live our lives without Timmy". Courtesy MacColl family

DUBAI // The wife of the missing British sailor Timmy MacColl is expected to meet authorities investigating the case in Dubai today.

A family friend, Lisa Jane Glover, said Rachael MacColl, 25, was flying to Dubai yesterday with her uncle, Neil Cunningham, and grandfather, Jim Cunningham.

They were expected to reach Dubai about 11pm, after their flight was delayed for two-and-a-half hours because of snow.

The meeting with Dubai Police, who are leading the search for Mr MacColl, and the Royal Navy’s special investigation branch is due to take place today.

Mr MacColl, 28, from Gosport, Hampshire, went missing in Dubai 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.

“The purpose of the meeting is for it to be a frank and open discussion between the parties and for them to share the information that each of them have found relating to Timmy’s case,” said Ms Glover.

“Rachael and Neil will be present. They are hoping the meeting will last all day. Rachael is hoping that she sees a lot more evidence as we don’t know what information they have.”

The MacColls have three children – Cameron, 7, Skye, 4, and baby Eriskay, who was born in September.

Before leaving the UK, Rachel MacColl gave an interview to her local TV station, Meridian, in which she revealed she had not received an update on the state of the investigation for six months.

“It’s incredibly hard,” she said. “I get a weekly phone call... from the navy and they tell me that there’s no update, there’s no further information. They can’t tell me whether there’s still an active investigation or not, or whether there’s any ongoing efforts to find my husband or whether there’s any news associated with anything to do with his disappearance.

“You have really good days and really bad days, but it’s hard knowing he’s out there on his own somewhere and your mind boggles. I sit and think all the time as to what has happened to him. I don’t know whether he’s alive or not.”

She said her children asked her continually where their dad was and whether anyone was still looking for him.

“They ask me a lot whether he’s gone to heaven or not. I have to tell them that I don’t know. I tell them now that it’s possible that he could be in heaven, and my son asks, ‘Why didn’t he say goodbye then?’ ”

This will be the first time Mrs MacColl has visited Dubai since June, when she was pregnant.

Ms Glover is an administrator of the Bring Timmy Home Facebook group and posted details of the visit on the page.

Many of the group’s 102,000 members were quick to welcome the news.

LeaLea Martin commented: “Good luck to Rachael Jim and Neil. Hope you all get the answers you need and bring Timmy back.”
Cathy Webb posted: “Let’s hope we can now get some answers. Bring Timmy home safe and well please xxxx”

An anonymous supporter of the Bring Timmy Home campaign has paid for the family’s flights.

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

csimpson@thenational.ae