MoD branded incompetent in search for missing sailor

Missing sailor Timmy MacColl, pictured with wife Rachael
Missing sailor Timmy MacColl, pictured with wife Rachael
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THE family of missing Scottish sailor Timmy MacColl yesterday accused the Ministry of Defence of not doing enough to help find the leading seaman.

The 27-year-old father-of-two, originally from Killin, vanished on a night out when HMS Westminster was docked in Dubai more than 12 weeks ago.

His pregnant wife Rachael, 25, welcomed the warship home to Portsmouth on Monday with a banner saying: “Bring Timmy Home”.

But Mrs MacColl’s grandfather, Jim Cunningham, yesterday urged the MoD and the Foreign Office to step up their involvement in the case.

He also called on Hampshire Constabulary to launch its own investigation amid growing concerns over the lack of progress by police in Dubai.

It comes as an online petition calling for Timmy’s case to be debated in Parliament has attracted almost 2,000 signatures.

Mr Cunningham said: “The MoD has let the family down pretty poorly - as has the Foreign Office. There is inaction, complacency, and I would go as far as to say ineptitude on their part.

“For a start, they need to communicate with the family and say what it is they are doing, what they are trying to do, and what they have achieved so far.

“They have done none of this. We feel like we are being given the brush-off at every turn.”

The petition began after complaints that the Royal Navy blocked Timmy’s shipmates from wearing yellow ribbons as a tribute when they returned to Portsmouth.

Mrs MacColl’s grandmother, Brenda Cunningham, said there was a “wall of silence”.

Writing on petitioning website,, she said: “Timmy has been badly let down by all involved. He is a serviceman, serving queen and country, and his family have not been updated properly. We need to know far more and Timmy has a right to be brought home.”