Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Vigil for British sailor Timmy MacColl missing in Dubai

Leading Seaman Timothy Andrew MacColl
Image caption Timmy MacColl and his wife are expecting a third child in October

The family and friends of a Royal Navy sailor missing in Dubai have held a vigil near his Hampshire home.

Leading Seaman Timothy MacColl, 27, from Gosport, Hampshire, was last seen getting into a taxi alone at 02:00 local time after a night out on 27 May.

His wife Rachael said his failure to return to his ship, HMS Westminster, was "completely out of character".

Prayers were said at St Mary the Virgin Church in Rowner as efforts continued to discover his whereabouts.

Leading Seaman MacColl, who is originally from Killin, Stirlingshire, had just left the Rock Bottom Cafe at the Regent Palace Hotel, in the Bur Dubai area, which is about a 15-minute drive from where his ship was docked.

The shipmates he was with paid for the taxi but it failed to arrive at the ship which was docked at Port Rachid.

A Bring Timmy Home campaign has been started, with friends in Gosport displaying yellow ribbons. The Facebook page has attracted 78,000 people.

Mrs MacColl who is expecting the couple's third child in October, said she had arranged to speak him on Skype later on 27 May.

Image caption Rachael MacColl is expecting the couple's third child in October

"I keep thinking we've got so much ahead. He's not disappeared because he wanted to, I know he wants to be found and brought home to his family and his wife - I just pray that happens.

"I'm just trying to stay strong for the children."

The couple's two children are aged six and four.

Leading Seaman MacColl is described as white, 5ft 8ins tall, of medium build, with short brown hair cropped with a flicked fringe. He speaks with a Scottish accent.

At the time of his disappearance, he was wearing a red MotoGP T-shirt, dark long shorts and white trainers.

A spokesman for the Royal Navy said the service was working with local authorities and the Foreign Office to try to find the missing sailor and was providing support to his family.

"Everything is being done to ensure that he is located safely," the spokesman said.

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