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Michael Mosley missing: Search scaled back as sniffer dogs suffer for heartbreaking reason

Search teams using a sniffer dog in the hunt for TV doctor Michael Mosley have reportedly left the scene and returned to Athens, possibly due to concerns over the canine’s health. The popular presenter was last seen embarking on a hike from St Nickolas beach on the Aegean island of Symi at 1.52pm on Wednesday.

Despite initial fears he may have encountered difficulties during his trek, search efforts on Saturday night shifted towards a cave system known as The Abyss, where it is believed he might have ventured.

Speaking live from Symi on BBC Breakfast on Sunday morning, BBC Correspondent Joe Inwood reported: “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.”

He added: “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.”

Emergency responders, helicopters, drones, and dogs continue to comb the Dodecanese Island. Local police were alerted about the disappearance of the 67-year-old Briton on the island on Wednesday.

The Fire Brigade, with the support of the Hellenic Police, Civil Protection 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 near a harbour on the island. It is believed he may have taken a walk along a steep uphill concrete road.

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

Symi’s mayor, Eleftherios Papakaloudoukas, has pledged to continue the extensive search operation involving police, firefighters with drones, and divers.

The long-serving mayor expressed doubts about anyone’s ability to survive in the intense heat, which reached over 40C on the day the ‘Trust Me, I’m A Doctor’ presenter disappeared.

On Saturday, Michael’s family broke their silence through his wife Clare Bailey. In her first public statement since her husband’s disappearance, Dr 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.”

On Friday, Mika Papakalodouka, the mayor’s daughter, revealed to the PA news agency that numerous island locals had taken to the sea in their own vessels in a bid to locate the missing doctor.

“It is a small island, people talk. We’re good people actually here. Everybody is looking for him,” the 20-year-old confided to PA. “It’s such a small island to get lost on. It’s so weird for us. Everybody is worried and looking for him.”


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