Body found in search for Dr Michael Mosley on Greek island

Dr Michael Mosley
-Credit: (Image: John Rogers/BBC/PA)

A body has been found in the search for missing TV personality Dr Michael Mosley on the Greek island of Symi. Dr Mosley, 67, disappeared on Wednesday.

Since then, a large-scale search effort has been led by teams in scorching heat topping 40C. The body, which has yet to be formally identified, was discovered in a rocky area beside Agia Marina on the island.

The search effort resumed on Sunday morning, as Manolis Tsimpoukas, a leading figure in the search effort for missing individuals on Greece's Dodecanese Islands, said teams had shifted their operation towards a location known locally as 'The Abyss'.

British journalists and a hospitality worker were the first to see the body found during the search. It was discovered beneath a fence that runs around the bar on Agia Marina beach on the Greek island.

The bar is surrounded by hilly and rocky terrain that runs down to the sea. The body, along with an umbrella, was found around 90 metres inland from the coastline. Helicopters have searched the area "every day", staff at the bar said.

Agia Marina bar manager Ilias Tsavaris, 38, first saw the body after the island's mayor "saw something" by the fence of the bar and alerted staff.

"They saw it with the boat. The mayor came and saw something so that is when they called me and said 'hey they saw something go and check there'.

"They called me, they said 'you know what we saw something from far away can you go and check' so I went there. So when I walked up I saw something like a body to make sure. You don't see a dead body every day, it is not a warzone, it's summer you are supposed to have fun and swimming.

"He came from Pedi OK, and he walked not through the restaurant. If he had walked through there (the bar) we would have checked the cameras."

He said "rescuers had searched that area every day with helicopters".

Tourist Sindy Seenarine, 50, who has visited Symi biannually for 14 years said the high temperatures were unusual for the time of year.

After a man's body was found, the insurance industry worker, who lives in Surbiton, Surrey, told the PA news agency: "The tragedy is he was so close to shelter, maybe he was desperately trying to get here? We come here every year twice a year - that's the tragedy to me, is he's so close to shelter.

"This is the hottest it's ever been since we've been coming here, July and August it's hotter. We've never experienced this heat in Symi in June."

The seaside bar near where the body was found on the island of Symi is in a large compound surrounded by a high fence made of wire and stone. Outside the compound there is no shelter or shade from the relentless heat. People are still playing in the sea and taking photos of one another by sunbeds as police and coastguards investigate the discovery about 90 metres away.

Dr Mosley disappeared on Wednesday while out walking in Symi. His wife, Dr Clare Bailey, informed police when he didn't return after six hours. She referred to the ongoing situation as the "longest and most unbearable days" for her and their four children in a statement issued on Saturday.

Search team in Symi, Greece, where a search and rescue operation is under way for TV doctor and columnist Michael Mosley
Search team in Symi, Greece, where a search and rescue operation is under way for TV doctor and columnist Michael Mosley -Credit:Yui Mok/PA Wire

The intense rescue effort initially kicked off near Pedi Bay and then moved to a set of tunnels, which are notoriously known to be "bottomless" and located closely by Agia Marina. Saturday saw emergency teams searching across a 6.5km radius on a giant tract of land surrounded by sea.

The search effort has been widespread and has included firefighters, dogs, helicopters, drones, local people and officers from Symi and outside the island. Dr Mosley, known for popularising the 5:2 diet and for his appearances on The One Show and This Morning, was on holiday when he vanished.