A Scots Royal Navy sailor who has been missing since May was remembered by his fellow crewmates as their ship returned home.
As the crew of the HMS Westminster lined the deck as the ship returned to Portsmouth Naval Base on Monday, the absence of leading seaman Timothy MacColl was apparent with a gap in the line where he should have stood.
Mr MacColl’s family, including his wife Rachel who is expecting their third child in October, released 100 yellow balloons as the ship pulled into the dock.
Captain Nick Hine, commanding officer on HMS Westminster, said: “Clearly we are all desperately disappointed that LS MacColl remains missing and our thoughts and prayers remain with his family at this particularly difficult time.”
The 27-year-old sailor from Killin, Stirlingshire, was last seen by a shipmate getting into a taxi in Dubai at around 2am on May 27. He had apparently been at the Rock Bottom Bar in the Deira area, which was a 15-minute drive from where HMS Westminster was docked.
A Royal Navy spokesman said: “In keeping with tradition, the ship’s company line the upper decks for the homecoming.
“A gap was left as a mark of respect for the family of missing crew member leading seaman Timothy MacColl.
“LS MacColl went missing while on shore leave in Dubai in May. The Royal Navy remains concerned for his safety and continues to provide support for his family.”
The spokesman said the police in Dubai were treating the case as a missing person and were liaising with the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy.
Leading seaman MacColl is described as white, around 5ft 8in, of a medium build with short brown hair cropped with a flicked fringe. He was last seen wearing a red Moto GP T-shirt, dark-coloured long shorts and white trainers.