Rescue team looking for Dr Mosley search 'bottomless' caves known as 'The Abyss' (2024)

FIREFIGHTERS were seen searching a maze of tunnels dubbed "The Abyss" as they raced against time to locate missing TV doctor Michael Mosley.

The Brit presenter, 67, vanished on Wednesday on the Greek island of Symi and rescuers fear he could have made a "wrong turn" on the treacherous rocky path.





As the gruelling search across rough terrain continues in extreme heat, firefighters were seen this afternoon entering the coastal area known by locals as "The Abyss".

The rocky outcrop features a network of water-filled "bottomless" tunnels close to Agia Marina - where the search is now concentrated.

A waiter at a nearby beach told The Telegraph: “It’s like a deep system of tunnels, but it is full of water and can spread for kilometres.

"If there is a hole and you fall, you lose your sense of balance and drown there.

“There is a reason they call it 'The ‘Abyss. There is something very strange going on.”

The firefighters spent an hour looking inside, but said it was difficult to see through the mass of rocks, The Times reports.

The search has continued on towards the port, with at least 100 rescuers and volunteers and a helicopter involved in the mission.

It comes as Symi's deputy mayor Nikitas Gryllis reaffirmed the incredible difficulty of searching the rocky hills.

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"It is a strange area, a mountain with many blind and dangerous spots, which must be combed meter by meter," he told Greek news outlet

He added that time was wasted as until yesterday "we were going in blind" as they scoured the wrong parts of the island.

New CCTV shows Michael Mosley walk past marina

Police last night were forced to refocus their search after footage revealed that Dr Mosley headed towards a perilous three-hour hike through the mountains.

It is now believed Dr Mosley left the beach at Saint Nikolaos where he had been with his wife Clare and two friends before walking back alone without his mobile phone to Pedi.

The CCTV, which was released today, shows he carried on through the fishing village and headed towards a rocky path in blazing temperatures of up to 37C.

A rescue worker said the decision to walk up into the mountains in the heat was “inexplicable”.

"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.”

What we know so far:

  • Dr Michael Mosley has beenmissing since Wednesday afternoon
  • He was on holiday with wife Clare & two pals on the island of Symi in Greece
  • The BBC presentervanished after going to walk homefrom Saint Nikolaos beach
  • Rescuers have said 'people don't just vanish' as the mystery deepens into what happened to him
  • His phone was left at his hols accommodation
  • He wassighted on CCTVin the town of Pedi
  • Rescuers fear Dr Mosleytook a wrong turnand ended up in a difficult mountainous area in the island's north
  • Police, firefighters, locals, drones, dogs,boats, diversand a helicopter have been deployed to find him
  • His family vowed not to give up hope in a statement by wife Clare - withhis four children flying to Symi
  • Thedisappearance is being compared to another Brit- John Tossell - who vanished in 2019
  • Dr Mosley's celebrity pals have spoken out - wishing for his safe return






Another rescuer told The Mirror: "It's like he went up there and the earth swallowed him up."

A third rescuer said: "I don't think anything strange has happened to him.This is Symi: it's a very small island and people just don't disappear.

"There is always hope," they told the Mail.

The longstanding Mayor Eleftherios Papakalodouka said this afternoon that "troubling questions" remain about Mosley's movements on Wednesday.

"Why did he leave the beach and his wife and friends? he asked, adding: “Why did he not take his telephone?

“He seemed to be walking very determinedly, surely it would have been better to stop and have a coffee or some water but no he decided to carry on.”

Search teams and the mayor both told The Sun the walking route can be incredibly “dangerous” and “treacherous” with no shade.

Mayor Papakalodouka added that Mosley had no water, stating: “You can’t survive in this weather.”

Describing the mountainous route, he said: "The area is so difficult to walk. It’s so rocky.

“He wouldn’t have known where he was going. He could have got lost."

ANALYSIS: Retracing Dr Mosley's 'last steps'

Rescue team looking for Dr Mosley search 'bottomless' caves known as 'The Abyss' (14)

By Ed Southgate in Symi

JUST 15 minutes into the walking route Michael Mosley is thought to have taken, I had stumbled, questioned where the path is and sweated a lot.

Locals and other tourists have said the walk is fine - although have warned about snakes - whereas search rescue teams have called it dangerous, treacherous and questioned why the TV doctor would have gone up in the searing midday heat.

While it is certainly doable, it is difficult.

The path is not well sign posted and two tourists, who went on the walk this week, said they had to check their map along the way.

But the mystery of where he has gone grows each day with locals baffled by how someone can disappear on the small island.

A helicopter has been flying low over the mountainous terrain while search teams have the challenging task of walking through the rocky terrain in the searing heat.

Today it reached 36C.

Concern over what could have happened and how is growing by the hour as he remains missing, with the search now in its fourth day.

But wife Clare, who called the last few days “unbearable”, has vowed: “We will not lose hope.”

Papakalodouka also stated today that there was "no chance" the search would be called off until Mosley was found.

Mosley's wife Dr Clare Bailey, 62, released an emotional statement today saying her family would "not lose hope".

“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.”

The couple's four children - Alexander, Jack, Daniel and Katherine - arrived on the island on Friday to join the search efforts.

Arthur, Mosley’s brother, confirmed the children arrived last night and we "walking the path trying to find him".

“Unfortunately, when you get to Michael’s age, accidents like this can happen.”

He told The Telegraph the family are "naturally hoping for a good outcome".

Read more on the Irish Sun

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He added that his brother had been in “good spirits” when he last spoke to him as he travelled to Symi.

Are you holidaying in Symi? Did you see Michael Mosley? Contact us at WhatsApp 07741005808 for free.

Timeline of Dr Mosley's disappearance

Rescue team looking for Dr Mosley search 'bottomless' caves known as 'The Abyss' (17)


  • 1.30pm: Dr Mosley decides to walk home alone to his holiday home in the town of Symi after going for a swim at a beach
  • 1.50pm: The walk home is said to take around 20 minutes from Saint Nikolaos beach despite the doctor never making it back
  • 1.52pm: CCTV catches Dr Mosley walking past a shop in Pedi
  • Approx 2.20pm: Witnesses claim to have seen Dr Mosley talking to an elderly man in the town with one other person present
  • 2.30pm-5pm: Doc was last seen on a house camera on a treacherous path heading towards the Agia Marina
  • 7.30pm: Dr Mosley's wife, Dr Clare Bailey, raises the alarmand calls cops


  • 10.30am: Police file missing person report and the search gets underway
  • 11am: Police appeal for any information
  • 2pm: Six firefighters, a vehicle and a drone team were all seen arriving in Symi from Rhodes
  • 7pm: Helicopters deployed over the island
  • 8pm: First day of the search called off for the night


  • 7am Extra police squadrons, coast guard officials, specially-trained sniffer dogs and military helicopters helped in the search
  • 5pm The first CCTV images are released of Dr Mosley with his umbrella near the Blue Corner bar


  • 7am Police launch a search of a new area of around 7km as they step up the hunt
  • 10.50am: New CCTV is released showing Mosley leaving Pedi and heading towards mountainous path
  • 11am Symi's mayor says 'no chance' search will be called off until he is found
  • 12pm Mosley's wife Clare says the family will 'not lose hope' but confesses the last few days have been 'unbearable'
  • 3pm A helicopter joins the search effort in the mountains




Rescue team looking for Dr Mosley search 'bottomless' caves known as 'The Abyss' (2024)


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