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Search for TV doctor Michael Mosley intensifies on Greek island

A search-and-rescue operation hunting for Dr Michael Mosley on the Greek island of Symi is being intensified as it enters its third day

More emergency workers were travelling to the location on Friday morning, with 25 officers and firefighters with drones already deployed. A helicopter scoured the island on Thursday evening before the search was paused overnight.

Dr Mosley, a familiar face on British television and radio, is reported to have vanished after setting off on a walk to the centre of the island on Wednesday.

His wife Dr Clare Bailey – with whom he has four children – sounded the alarm after he failed to return to their accommodation several hours after leaving at about 1.30pm local time.

Temperatures on the day of his disappearance reached 35°C, which local officials described as “unbearable”.

A statement from local police on the island, about 25 miles north of Rhodes, said officers were informed about the “disappearance of the 67-year-old British national” on Wednesday.

The Greek fire service, with six firefighters, a vehicle and a drone team arrived from Rhodes at about 2pm on Thursday, as local police asked for more assistance.

For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only BBC undated handout file photo TV doctor and columnist Michael Mosley, who has gone missing while on holiday on the Greek island of Symi, his agent has confirmed. Issue date: Thursday June 6, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story SHOWBIZ Mosley. Photo credit should read: John Rogers/BBC/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: Not for use more than 21 days after issue. You may use this picture without charge only for the purpose of publicising or reporting on current BBC programming, personnel or other BBC output or activity within 21 days of issue. Any use after that time MUST be cleared through BBC Picture Publicity. Please credit the image to the BBC and any named photographer or independent programme maker, as described in the caption.
Michael Mosley is a familiar face on British TV (Photo: John Rogers/BBC/PA)

The rescue operation will now be focusing on the Pedi area of the island, after a woman reported seeing him there on Wednesday. But Mayor of Symi Eleftherios Papakalodoukas said firefighters had told him they believed it was “impossible” Mosley was still there.

He told the BBC: “It is a very small, controlled area, full of people. So, if something happened to him there, we would have found him by now.”

An unnamed woman in the area told PA news agency that Dr Mosley’s disappearance was “strange” because the path he was thought to be walking along at the time of his varnishing was “clear”.

She said: “It’s a quiet place … if you see the map of the area it’s a clear path, it’s nothing dangerous, many people go every day, every few minutes, that’s the reason it’s very strange because it’s a clear path.”

Another woman, who works at a coffee shop on Pedi Beach and only gave her name as Irini, said: “They came, the police, with the coast police and firemen, and the rescue team, to carry out the investigation, but I don’t think that anything has been found yet.”

A friend of the person Dr Mosley was staying with on Symi told the BBC that she was struggling to understand how anyone could get lost on the part of the island he was believed to be on.

“It’s a road that sort of heads over the mountain side but it’s been recently widened and there is only one route, so it’s not possible to lose your way,” she said.

“So, it is probably a 20-minute walk down the side of the mountain, but it’s not overly rugged or something that would be seen to be too dangerous, it’s something that tourists do every day in the summer.

“I’m having trouble understanding how you could get lost.”

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who is missing in Greece and are in contact with the local authorities.”

Dr Mosley presents health documentaries and TV shows such as Trust Me, I’m a Doctor, and has made regular appearances on The One Show and This Morning.

Dr Saleyha Ahsan, from Trust Me, I’m A Doctor, wrote on social media that the news was “shocking” and she was hoping Mosley would be “found safe”.

“I literally feel sick with worry,” Ahsan added. “Don’t even know what to say.”

BBC Radio 2 presenter Jeremy Vine said: “I’m praying this lovely man is found and thinking of Claire and the whole Mosley family.”

Money expert Martin Lewis wrote on X: “Feeling disturbed about the news about Dr Michael Mosley. I hope he’s ok.”

Dr Mosley writes columns on health for the Daily Mail and has made several films about diet and exercise, including Channel 4 show Michael Mosley: Who Made Britain Fat? and BBC Four’s Infested! Living With Parasites, where he lived with tapeworms in his gut for six weeks.

He received an Emmy nod for BBC science documentary The Human Face. He has also advocated intermittent fasting through the 5:2 diet and The Fast 800 diet.

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