Fears grow for British sailor missing in Dubai for five days

 

A Royal Navy sailor has been missing for five days in Dubai with mounting concern about his safety.

Leading seaman Timothy Andrew MacColl was last seen by a shipmate alone at around 2am on Sunday after arriving on board HMS Westminster the previous day. The ship, which had been on anti-piracy operations, has now left the Emirate while investigations continue about his whereabouts.

Defence officials say there is no reason to suppose that personal or professional factors played a part in the disappearance of the 27-year-old father of two children, aged six and four. His wife is expecting another child in October.

The Gulf State has not been the subject of any recent terrorist alert. However, military sources say it is looking likely that Mr MacColl, originally from Killin, Scotland, may have faced danger.

Mr MacColl was seen leaving the Rock Bottom Bar at the Regent Hotel in the area of Deira, a 15-minute drive from Port Rashid, where HMS Westminster was docked. His wife Rachael said yesterday at the family home in Gosport: "We are desperately worried. Checks have been made with hospitals, prisons, police stations, medical stations and mortuaries and there is no record of him and no sightings so far.

"I last spoke with Timmy at midday on Saturday and he was in really good spirits and looking forward to speaking with the children on Skype on Sunday. It is completely out of character for him not to contact us, and we are completely at a loss and going crazy with worry. We are appealing to the people of Dubai and reaching out to the large expat community to help us find Timmy and raise awareness in that area."

Mr MacColl is described as 5ft 8ins tall, of medium build, with short brown hair. He has a broad Scottish accent and was wearing a red Moto GP T-shirt, dark-coloured long shorts, and white trainers.

The UAE has been viewed as a potential target for Islamist militants, with its large population of Western expatriates, and bars and hotels selling alcohol. It has, however, largely avoided attacks despite terrorist-related violence in neighbouring states. However, the city was the scene of one of the most high-profile political killings in recent times when a senior Hamas official, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, died in the hands of alleged Israeli intelligence agents in 2010. A suspect connected with bombings in Mumbai is also supposed to have been spotted there.

Robert Emerson, a security consultant, said: "There are lots of theories why Dubai has escaped large-scale attacks. The fact that it is a hub for transferring money may have something to do with it. The worry about this case is that the missing man is a Western serviceman and thus, potentially, a target."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...