‘Everybody is looking for him,’ says mayor’s daughter amid Michael Mosley search

Residents of the Greek island of Symi have been out in force searching for missing British TV doctor Michael Mosley, according to the mayor’s daughter.

Police and firefighters had been using drones to try to locate Mr Mosley, while divers were also searching for the 67-year-old who vanished after setting off on a walk to the centre of the island on Wednesday.

Emergency crews called off the search at 8pm Greek time on Friday evening as dusk fell, but confirmed it will be resumed on Saturday morning.

The mayor’s daughter Mika Papakalodouka told the PA news agency that “a lot of” island residents had joined the search using their own boats to find British national Mr Mosley, who disappeared in high temperatures.

A rocky path near Saint Nikolas Beach in the Pedi district in Symi, Greece, where a search and rescue operation is under way for TV doctor and columnist Michael Mosley after he went missing while on holiday
A rocky path near Saint Nikolas beach in the Pedi district in Symi, Greece, where a search and rescue operation is under way for Michael Mosley (Yui Mok/PA)

Ms Papakalodouka grew up on the island but now spends the majority of the year in Athens while studying maritime business remotely at Solent University, Southampton.

“It is a small island, people talk. We’re good people actually here. Everybody is looking for him,” the 20-year-old told PA.

“It’s such a small island to get lost on. It’s so weird for us. Everybody is worried and looking for him.”

The search for Mr Mosley was described as a “race against time” as it switched to a treacherous mountainous path.

CCTV footage from a house at the edge of Pedi’s small marina at the far end of the village showed the presenter entering the path at about 2pm on Wednesday.

A restaurant in the Pedi area of Symi, Greece, where a search and rescue operation is under way for TV doctor and columnist Michael Mosley after he went missing while on holiday
A restaurant in the Pedi area of Symi, Greece, where a search and rescue operation is under way for TV doctor and columnist Michael Mosley (Yui Mok/PA)

One of the rescuers told PA that Mr Mosley’s decision was “inexplicable”, as it would have taken a fit young person three hours to walk to the port.

“The path is not easy to follow, if he took a wrong turn, he would be lost. He could be anywhere, It is a race against time,” she said.

The little-used path goes inland rather than following the coast.

Mr Mosley disappeared after going on a walk from Saint Nikolas beach.

Ms Papakalodouka, whose father Eleftherios Papakalodouka has been mayor of Symi for 22 years, said the path he is thought to have taken is “not dangerous at all, but we have 40C outside so it’s easy to get dizzy”.

The local police department restarted scouring the island on Friday morning after pausing the search-and-rescue operation for Mr Mosley on Thursday night.

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

Michael Mosley
TV doctor Michael Mosley (BBC/PA)

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 were using sniffer dogs in the search of the island, which is part of the Dodecanese island chain and is about 25 miles north of Rhodes.

The area where Mr 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 they were 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 Mr 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.

A local Facebook group said Mr 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.”

Mr 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.

Mr 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.

Mr 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 Mr Mosley presented a special edition of his Radio 4 series and podcast Just One Thing.