UK minister quizzed about missing sailor
The UK’S Defence Secretary Philip Hammond was quizzed by an MP on the hunt for missing sailor Timmy MacColl in the House of Commons on Monday.
Labour Dundee West MP, Jim McGovern, was contacted by the 27-year-old's uncle, Tayside Policeman Colin MacColl, amid concerns about the Royal Navy's low-profile role in the hunt for Timmy, who vanished on May 27 in Dubai.
On Monday, during Defence Questions in the House of Commons, McGovern pressed the government on what steps they are taking to locate Timmy.
Philip Hammond MP, the Secretary of State for Defence, said that the government was liaising with Dubai authorities.
McGovern said: “This is a desperately sad case and my heart goes out to Timmy’s family. They miss him deeply.
“The UK government must pull out all the stops to find Timmy, as a serving sailor on deployment the Ministry of Defence has a duty of care to Timmy and his family.
“The Defence Secretary stated that the UK was liaising with Dubai authorities, and while I am sure the Dubai authorities are doing everything they can, I would hope that British military and civilian police would be able to offer their assistance as a matter of priority.”
Timmy's ship, HMS Westminster, was docked at Port Rashid in Dubai when he went missing after getting into a taxi outside the Rock Bottom Cafe opposite the Bur Juman Mall about 2am on Sunday, May 27.
Off-duty sailors put on their uniforms and scoured the streets of Dubai looking for their shipmate, but HMS Westminster left the port four days later.
The Royal Navy later agreed to help Dubai police conduct an underwater search of Port Rashid after CID requested the aid of personnel from a minesweeper that docked in Dubai just more than two weeks ago. The search failed to find any trace of Timmy.
His mother, Sheena MacColl, 49, of Killin, Perthshire in Scotland, and wife, Rachael, 25, of Gosport, England, made an emotional journey to Dubai last month retracing Timmy's last-known steps and attending a meeting with the emirate's police chief.
McGovern added: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Timmy’s family at this time, and I sincerely hope that the right assistance can be brought to bear to find him as quickly as possible.
"I will also be writing to the Ministry of Defence to seek further details on the assistance they are offering to the Dubai authorities.”