Michael Mosley search operation branded 'absurd' as doctor found 100 yards from restaurant

The search operation for Dr Michael Mosley has been branded "absurd" after the star's body was just 100 yards from a restaurant. The beloved TV personality was tragically found on the Greek island of Symi on Sunday.

The 67-year-old had been missing for several days. However, he was found a mere 150 yards from an area previously searched by his four adult children Alexander, Jack, Daniel, and Katherine, who had flown out to assist.

Symi mayor Eleftherios Papakalodoukas led media to Agia Marina via a 15-minute water taxi ride, but as they departed for Pedi, he noticed something unusual and alerted staff at a nearby beach restaurant, it is reported. Dr Mosley's body was found off a designated path, bordered by barbed wire, with his backpack located approximately 20ft further up the rocky hillside.

A police officer at the scene sustained a suspected broken leg after jumping from a wall near the body and had to be stretchered away. Questions linger as to why it took so long to locate the popular broadcaster. A helicopter and a sniffer dog from Athens were drafted in.

As reported in the Mirror, Greek authorities initially speculated that Dr Mosley may have fallen into the sea or been bitten by a venomous snake on the island. However, the search shifted inland after CCTV footage surfaced on Friday afternoon showing him holding an umbrella while walking through Pedi town.

The location where Dr Mosley was found
The location where Dr Mosley was found -Credit:Tim Merry/Mirror Express

By Saturday, the search was concentrated on the path to Agia Marina, with teams scouring the rocky area above a dangerous underwater cave system known locally as the Abyss. At one stage, teams seemed to be approximately 50 yards from where the body was eventually discovered.

One anonymous police source, described as well placed, told The Sun: "We had everyone — every service, in every branch out there looking for him on this small island. It’s absurd we didn’t find him and questions will be asked."

Fresh CCTV footage that has surfaced in Greece shows Dr Mosley navigating the mountainous route towards Agia Marina. He is seen descending towards a wall before vanishing from sight - leaving it unclear whether he sat down or stumbled.

He was last captured on camera at 3.44pm, two hours and 14 minutes after departing St Nikolas Beach, and roughly an hour and 45 minutes since passing through Pedi. Speculation arose last night that Dr Mosley may have been attempting to reach the resort or had headed towards the sea in hopes of cooling off in the sweltering 37C heat, before potentially collapsing or slipping and hitting his head.

Michael Mosley's wife posted a sweet message with the star days before he went missing
Michael Mosley's wife posted a sweet message with the star days before he went missing -Credit:Instagram/ @drclarebailey

His wife, Dr Bailey Mosley, said in a statement from his agent: "I don't know quite where to begin with this. It's devastating to have lost Michael, my wonderful, funny, kind and brilliant husband. We had an incredibly lucky life together. We loved each other very much and were so happy together.

"I am incredibly proud of our children, their resilience and support over the past days. My family and I have been hugely comforted by the outpouring of love from people from around the world. It's clear that Michael meant a huge amount to so many of you.

"We're taking comfort in the fact that he so very nearly made it. He did an incredible climb, took the wrong route and collapsed where he couldn't be easily seen by the extensive search team. Michael was an adventurous man, it's part of what made him so special."

Map shows the area of the search
Map shows the area of the search -Credit:PA

She said the family are also "so grateful to the extraordinary people on Symi" who worked "tirelessly" to help find Dr Mosley, with some working from dawn until dusk unasked.

Dr Bailey Mosley added: "I feel so lucky to have our children and my amazing friends. Most of all, I feel so lucky to have had this life with Michael. Thank-you all."

Mosley's four children joined their mother, a GP and cookery book writer, on Symi earlier this week to help with the search effort. His body was discovered around mid-morning on Sunday beneath a fence that runs around a bar on Agia Marina beach, which is surrounded by hilly, rocky terrain.

Police arrived at Agia Marina around 20 minutes after the body was discovered about 90 metres from the coastline, with firefighters later arriving just after 2pm local time to take the body away from the island on a boat.

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

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - Sign up to our daily newsletter here.