Divers look for Michael Mosley as search intensifies on Greek island

Divers look for Michael Mosley as search intensifies on Greek island

Divers are searching for missing TV doctor and columnist Michael Mosley off the Greek island of Symi.

The local police department restarted scouring the island on Friday morning after pausing the search-and-rescue operation for the 67-year-old British national on Thursday night.

Police and firefighters have been using drones to try to locate Mosley, who vanished after setting off on a walk to the centre of the island on Wednesday.

Symi deputy mayor, Ilias Chaskas, confirmed to the PA news agency that “divers are looking in the water”, and the local coast guard have joined the rescue efforts.

Symi’s coast guard said: “All our patrol boats are searching … about five and also all the private boats, commercial boats know about the incident and they look for (him) also, in this area, (so this is) the private, the commercial and the patrol (boats looking).”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy told PA: “We inform you that the Port Authority of Symi is assisting the investigations of the Hellenic Police, using patrols from the sea and operational vessels patrolling the area.”

A spokesperson for the Greek fire service said: “The search continues today with seven firefighters, one drone checking the wider area, and we (are) co-operating with the Hellenic Police Office.”

The spokesperson also confirmed that Greek police are using sniffer dogs in the search.

People sit on the beach of Agios Nikolaos on the Greek island of Symi with green water and a rocky backdrop
People sit on the beach of Agios Nikolaos from where doctor and television presenter Michael Mosley, is believed to have set out (Antonis Mystiloglou/AP)

Local people from Symi, which is part of the Dodecanese island chain and is about 25 miles north of Rhodes, along with police drafted in from outside the island, are searching the Pedi area and surroundings on Friday morning, the mayor’s office said early on Friday.

The area where Mosley went missing is experiencing hot temperatures, forecast to reach highs of 36C on Friday, according to the Hellenic National Meteorological Service.

It also has a yellow weather warning for high temperatures in force in Rhodes and the surrounding islands including Symi.

Greek police said it was informed of the “disappearance of the 67-year-old British national on the island” on Wednesday, according to a statement.

Police then asked for assistance from the Greek fire service, with six firefighters, a vehicle and a drone team arriving from Rhodes at about 2pm (12pm BST) on Thursday.

Locator graphic showing where on the Greek island of Symi Michael Mosley was last seen
(PA Graphics)

A woman reported seeing Mosley, known for popularising the 5:2 diet and for his appearances on The One Show and This Morning, in the Pedi area on Wednesday.

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.”

A woman who gave her name only as Irini, and who works at Kamares coffee shop on Pedi beach, told PA on Thursday: “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.”

Another woman in the area said Mosley’s disappearance was “strange” as the path he was thought to have taken is “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.”

(PA Graphics)

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

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Drive programme, she said: “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.

“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 local Facebook group said Mosley went for a walk from Saint Nikolas beach at about 1.30pm Greek time on Wednesday.

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.”

Mosley is known for being a columnist for the Daily Mail and has made a number of films about diet and exercise.

The broadcaster fronted the Channel 4 show Michael Mosley: Who Made Britain Fat? and was part of the BBC series Trust Me, I’m A Doctor.

He also lived with tapeworms in his gut for six weeks for the documentary Infested! Living With Parasites on BBC Four.

Mosley received an Emmy nod for BBC science documentary The Human Face, presented by John Cleese and featuring a raft of famous faces, including Elizabeth Hurley, Pierce Brosnan and Sir David Attenborough.

He also advocated intermittent fasting through the 5:2 diet and The Fast 800 diet.

Roy Taylor, who is a professor of medicine and metabolism at Newcastle University and co-authored The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet with Mosley, said in a statement to PA: “This shocking news focuses our minds on Michael’s wife Clare and their sons.

“Our thoughts are with them in this terrible time of uncertainty, hoping that he will be found safely. All speed and success to those searching for this dear man.”

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

TV doctor Michael Mosley (BBC/PA)
TV doctor Michael Mosley (BBC/PA)

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

Radio 2 presenter and Channel 5 talk show host Jeremy Vine wrote in a social media post: “I’m praying this lovely man is found and thinking of Clare and the whole Mosley family.”

MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis wrote on X: “Feeling disturbed about the news about Dr Michael Mosley. I hope he’s OK.”

Mosley has four children with his wife Clare Bailey Mosley, also a doctor, author and health columnist, who wrote the recipe book Fast 800 Easy.

The couple, who have hosted theatre show tours together, recently attended the Hay Festival, where Mosley presented a special edition of his Radio 4 series and podcast Just One Thing.