Last steps of sailor retraced as family follow Timmy MacColl's trail
7DAYS' Myra Philp joins missing British sailor’s uncle as he searches Dubai for clues.
These are the last photos of British sailor Timmy MacColl before he vanished after getting into a taxi outside a Dubai nightclub two weeks ago today. The snaps, taken by one of his best friends on HMS Westminster, were captured on Friday, May 25, just over 24 hours before he got in a taxi outside Rock Bottom in Bur Dubai and disappeared.
They were distributed yesterday by Timmy’s uncle, Neil Cunningham, who has travelled to Dubai to search for his nephew and vowed not to give up until he finds him. Cunningham said: “I know Dubai Police have been doing everything possible to find Timmy.
“I just want Timmy to know I won’t stop looking for him. The fact I’ve been in the places where he’s been and to the places he described to Rachael (his wife) on the phone and by email has just made me feel closer to him and closer to finding him.
“Rachael can’t be here herself. She’s pregnant and not in any condition to travel. If the worst did happen then the only bit of Timmy she has left is inside her.
“I have been taking photos and sending them to her so she can do a blog on Timmy’s website.”
Timmy, who already has two children and is originally from Stirlingshire, Scotland, was snapped in Dubai Mall at the opening of the new Ducati Caffe as he tried to get souvenirs for his kids, Cameron, seven, and Skye, four, signed by world-famous motorbiking champ Nicky Hayden.
He made his last call to Rachael, 25, from the mall, telling her he had a pizza there for lunch, saw the massive aquarium and fountains outside the Burj Khalifa. Rachael said: “I spoke to him and he was at the Ducati Caffe. He was really excited and happy and hoping to get some bits signed. Both my son and my dad are big fans.”
Last Wednesday, Rachael, who is expecting the couple’s third child in October, told the children their daddy was missing and showed them the last pictures of their father.
Cunningham, who has been in Dubai since Friday retracing the sailor’s last-known steps, visited the cafe yesterday.
He said: “It was quite emotional being in there.” The serving police officer, who is in Dubai only to raise awareness about his nephew’s disappearance, bought the children T-shirts and the management, who confirmed police had scoured their CCTV from the opening, gave him model motorbikes like the ones their dad had bought them.
The management also revealed that visitors at the opening were given a free red Ducati polo shirt. It is almost certain Timmy was wearing the shirt the next day when he vanished.
Since arriving in the emirate, Cunningham has learned Timmy spent the last day he was seen at the Seafarer’s Mission. He said: “He left HMS Westminster at 11.50am and went to the mission on a shuttlebus from the ship.
“He arrived at the mission at 12.15pm and spent the day there chilling out. Having been there myself, I can now see why he went there. It’s basically like a social club, a chill-out zone for sailors and their families.
“He’d be able to watch TV, jump in the pool, drink some cheap beer.” It’s known that Timmy sent an email home from the Seafarer’s Mission during his time there.
His two best friends from the ship, who had been there with him, had to leave early for duty and Timmy sent his credit card and other valuables back with them to the ship, which was usual. His uncle added: “He left there at 11.30pm in the company of other sailors and went to Rock Bottom.”
But he stayed there for just over two hours and decided to return to his ship. Cunningham said: “At 1.40am he left Rock Bottom, his friends put him into a taxi. For whatever reason they’ve given the taxi driver Dhs70 to persuade him to take Timmy back.”
After that, Timmy was not seen again. It’s understood HMS Westminster was docked at the furthest away point of Port Rashid, next to an Australian Royal Navy ship.
Last night in a bid to jog people’s memories of missing sailor Timmy MacColl his uncle and a small group of expats including ex-navy officers and fellow Scots went to Rock Bottom in Bur Dubai to hand out leaflets to patrons and taxi drivers outside. It came with a new description of what Timmy is believed to have been wearing when he went missing after getting into a cab outside the nightclub - a red polo shirt from the Ducati Caffe, blue Hawaiian-style shorts and white flip-flops.
Cunningham, pictured, is expected to meet with Dubai Police later this week. Police have said they are investigating the matter but have revealed no further details to the public as yet.