Dr Michael Mosley latest as search dog 'withdrawn' from scene

A fire engine in Pedi, a small fishing village in Symi, Greece, where a search and rescue operation is under way for TV doctor and columnist Michael Mosley
-Credit: (Image: PA)

Search teams looking for Michael Mosley, who were using a sniffer dog, have reportedly left the scene and returned to Athens - potentially due to concerns over the dog's health.

The TV doctor was seen walking through the town of Pedi on the Aegean island of Symi on Wednesday at 1.52pm, roughly 20 minutes after he set off from St Nickolas beach on a hiking trail. It was thought that he may have encountered difficulties during his hike, but on Saturday night, searchers shifted their attention to a cave system known as The Abyss, where they believe he might have gone.

Speaking live from Symi on BBC Breakfast on Sunday morning, BBC Correspondent Joe Inwood said: "The authorities have said that they will continue the search, they will continue to look for Michael Mosley until he is found, but the longer it goes on the more that hope will dwindle I'm sorry to say."

"Another thing we've learned this morning is that the search and rescue dog who had been on the hillside is being sent back to Athens. Now that could be a.sign that they are winding down, but it's also being reported that it's so hot here that the dog has been burning its paws on the hillside and so can't work because of the heat. Now we don't know which of those it is but that is a development we've had in the last hour or so."

Helicopters, drones, dogs and several emergency responders continue to comb the Dodecanese Island. Local police were notified about the disappearance of the 67 year old British national on the island on Wednesday, reports the Mirror.

The Fire Brigade, with the support of the Hellenic Police, Civil Protection forces, volunteers and a police dog, are conducting a search for Dr Mosley. Drones are also being utilised in the search efforts.

Dr Mosley was last seen on CCTV at a grey-stoned house next to a harbour on the island. It's believed he may have taken a walk along a steep uphill concrete road.

At the end of this street, a small path leads into a rocky landscape with sparse vegetation, mainly thistles and dry grass.

Symi's mayor, Eleftherios Papakaloudoukas, has pledged to continue the extensive search operation involving police, firefighters with drones, and divers. Speaking through an interpreter, the long-serving mayor questioned how anyone could survive in the heat that exceeded 40C on the day the 'Trust Me, I'm A Doctor' presenter disappeared.

On Saturday, Michael's family broke their silence through his wife. In a heartfelt statement, the first public comment since her husband's disappearance, Dr Clare Bailey Mosley said: "It has been three days since Michael left the beach to go for a walk. The longest and most unbearable days for myself and my children."

"The search is ongoing and our family are so incredibly grateful to the people of Symi, the Greek authorities and the British Consulate who are working tirelessly to help find Michael. We will not lose hope."

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