Wife and shipmates of missing sailor in desperate plea
Missing sailor Timmy MacColl's ship was forced to sail out of Dubai's Port Rashid and back into action without him - leaving his Royal Navy mates heartbroken.
Yesterday, the missing seaman’s brave wife, Rachel, revealed she has sent several messages to the devastated crew of HMS Westminster, who scoured the streets of Dubai for days looking for their friend before they sailed.
The seaman’s pals had put him in a taxi outside Rock Bottom Café at 2am on May 27 and when they realised he didn’t make it back to the ship they organised their own search during their remaining leave.
In an exclusive interview, Rachel told 7DAYS: “I know they were heartbroken when they had to sail. They’ve been a big part of it, a big support. They went out for days looking for him, in uniform, checking the local police stations, walking round the bars, just trying to find anything.”
However, the 190 crew had to go back to active duty in the Suez region.
Rachel, who is expectung their third child in October, added: “I am able to contact the captain at any point and I’ve sent two or three messages to the ship’s company. Some of them have my personal email address and they’ve sent loving thoughts and best wishes to me and the family.
“They have to stay strong and they have to keep working because they’ve got commitments and my husband would go mad if he thought they were skiving off.”
Rachel is being supported by the Royal Navy and MacColl’s mum, Sheena, from Killin, Stirlingshire, is staying with her in Gosport, England, where MacColl is based.
Rachel said that after she was told her husband was missing she “remembers very little” but she knew she had to contact Sheena.
She said: “He always asked me if anything was to happen I was to contact his mum straight away and let her know. I had to tell her what had happened, it was terribly hard for her. As a mum I can’t imagine, as a wife I can.”
The MacColls met more than eight years ago. It was their sixth wedding anniversary on May 19. Rachel said: “He was in Dubai the day of our anniversary. He was on duty on board and he got permission to make a call home and say ‘happy anniversary’ so that was great.”
Now the only message she wants to hear is that her husband, who she describes as her “first and only love”, has been found.
She said: “I’m getting regular updates. Someone contacted
my family from the Rock Bottom Café and the Regent Palace Hotel saying that the police have been going in there for days asking questions - talking to people, putting up posters and things like that.
“The Navy says Dubai Police have been incredibly helpful. They’ve been having meetings with a Metropolitan Police liaison officer who is based in the Middle East. All I’ve heard is good things that they are doing and that’s reassuring for me. It’s being taken seriously and things are happening.
“I want to ask anyone who knows anything to contact 7DAYS and I’m hoping in the next couple of days there will be a beautiful story that the people of Dubai found him.”
COULD YOU HAVE A CLUE?
The last journey Timmy MacColl should have made would have taken him from Rock Bottom Café, part of the Regent Palace Hotel, to his Royal Navy ship at Port Rashid (above). His shipmates put him in the taxi in Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road (above top) and paid the driver Dhs70. Yesterday, we took the same 10-minute journey and the fare cost Dhs26. His family has been told police have been viewing footage from CCTV cameras and are searching for the taxi driver.\
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