Missing sailor could be languishing in Dubai police cell, says tearful wife
The wife of a Royal Navy sailor who went missing five months ago while ashore in Dubai fought back tears as she made an emotional appeal for him to be found yesterday.
Leading Seaman Timothy MacColl, who was serving on HMS Westminster, disappeared while the ship was visiting the United Arab Emirates.
The 28-year-old was last seen getting into a taxi taking him back to the ship at Port Rashid in the early hours of 27 May.
At a press conference held at the navy headquarters on Whale Island, Portsmouth, Hampshire, his wife, Rachael appealed for information about his whereabouts.
Mrs MacColl, 25, was supported at the press conference by family members, including several who had travelled down from Killin, Perthshire, where her husband grew up.
When LS MacColl went missing, his wife was 20 weeks pregnant with their daughter Eriskay, who has since been born and has not met her father.
The couple, who live in Gosport, Hampshire, also have a son, Cameron, and a daughter, Skye.
Mrs MacColl said: “Days before my husband went missing we had celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary and his present from me were scan pictures of our soon-to-be third child.”
Describing the moment that she found out her husband was missing, she said: “Being a military wife, you know that knock on the door is a possibility but you never think it will be you.
“When that knock came I collapsed, for I was told that my husband wasn’t dead or injured but missing.
“For the last five months, I have sat at home unable to give up hope, unable to move forward, unable to grieve and constantly dreading the fact that the knock on the door might or might not ever come again.”
She added: “This has been the longest deployment so far but unlike others there’s no rainbow or homecoming at the end.”
Mrs MacColl added that she had become frustrated at the lack of co-operation from the Dubai police. She said: “There’s been a lot of communication breakdown. It has affected the whole of this investigation.”
Mrs MacColl said she believed her husband was still alive.
She said: “In my heart of hearts I do not think he made it back to the port. I do believe he is just sat in a police station somewhere and no-one has found him yet.”
Responding to concerns about the investigation in Dubai, Lieutenant Commander Tony Day, who is leading the Royal Navy Police investigation, said the investigation was being led by the Dubai authorities.
He said that despite offers by the Navy for two witnesses from HMS Westminster to give statements, they had not been requested by the Dubai police.
On May 26, LS MacColl went to the Rock Bottom Cafe shortly before midnight.
Witnesses say he was brought out of the premises in the early hours of May 27 after falling asleep, and two sailors say he was put in a taxi and his fare paid for him to be taken back to Port Rashid, about ten minutes away.
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