Sat. Jun 15th, 2024
alert-–-‘how-we-missed-him-is-a-mystery’:-beach-bar-staff’s-‘heartbreak’-after-they-failed-to-find-dr-michael-mosley-for-five-days-after-mail-health-guru-‘fell’-and-died-just-260ft-from-holiday-resortAlert – ‘How we missed him is a mystery’: Beach bar staff’s ‘heartbreak’ after they failed to find Dr Michael Mosley for five days after Mail health guru ‘fell’ and died just 260ft from holiday resort

Restaurant staff on the Greek island of Symi have revealed their heartbreak and admitted how they missed him is a ‘mystery’ as tragic details of his final trek emerge. 

Dr Michael Mosley’s trek across the mountains in the merciless sun were revealed last night – as questions grow over how rescuers failed to find him during their five-day search.

The much-loved health guru carried a small bottle of water with him as he managed to climb a steep slope in searing 37C heat from Pedi to the top of the hill overlooking the Agia Marina on the Greek island of Symi. 

Just two hours after leaving his beloved wife Dr Clare Bailey, it is thought the Mail’s health guru ‘fell’ and died just 260 feet from a holiday resort.

Dr Mosley was found at around 10.30am yesterday by a restaurant manager at Agia Marina. 

A staff member said: ‘How we missed him is a mystery. He was in distress suffering from exhaustion but nobody saw him. This is heartbreaking.’ 

The doctor was captured on CCTV footage by a beach restaurant stumbling around for several minutes before the 67-year-old gingerly picked his way down a slope close to a perimeter fence before then falling out of view.

It is then thought he carried on around the fence before he fell to where his body was found face up just a mere 260ft from a holiday resort.

It comes as questions were raised over how the TV doctor’s body lay undiscovered for so long.

On the previous day a search-and-rescue helicopter had circled above the scene. 

Ilias Tsavaris, 38, said he was alerted by the restaurant’s owners who had received a call from Symi’s mayor. 

‘The mayor had seen something unusual from a water taxi and I was told to go up there and check it out. As I approached, I saw something glinting in the sun – his watch. As I got close I knew it was him. Horrifying.’

Restaurant CCTV footage shows a customer who could have potentially heard a cry for help walking close to where Dr Mosley lay. Sources said Dr Mosley’s wife was not expected to visit the scene but will likely return to the UK from Rhodes, an hour by boat from Symi.

Dr Mosley is believed to have died just over two hours after leaving his wife from the beach at St Nicholas on the Greek island of Symi last Wednesday at 1.30pm.

Police sources ruled out foul play but said it was not possible at this stage to determine how he died. A spokesman for the coroner said: ‘It looks like it was a fall but we need to establish whether he had a medical episode before that and it will take time.’

His wife Dr Clare Bailey had waved him off after they had spent the morning at the idyllic beach with friends after arriving just the day before for a week’s holiday.

Setting off with a single small bottle of water but crucially no phone, father-of-four Dr Mosley said he was heading back to the three-bedroom Merchant House apartment in Symi where they were staying with friends.

They had only arrived the day before on what was Dr Mosley’s second trip to the tranquil Dodecanese island, having first visited eight years ago.

Dr Michael Mosley’s wife yesterday paid an emotional tribute to her ‘wonderful, funny, kind and brilliant’ husband after his body was found.

The walk from St Nicholas to Pedi is about one and a half miles and took Dr Mosley no more than 15 minutes, with him spotted by CCTV at several points as he walked down the waterfront.

Police were able to track him thanks to a distinctive umbrella he was carrying, after being informed by a worker at the St Nicholas beach bar.

He was spotted on CCTV at 1.42pm that day walking past the Kamares coffee bar, then five minutes later he was seen by cameras at the Katsaras restaurant.

Then at 1.52pm he was pictured walking past the Blue Corner Cafe, before the final CCTV image at 2pm showed him walking past the house of a supermarket owner.

Two security staff looking out on to a high-speed inflatable boat caught him as he walked past and made his way to the start of the trail to Agia Marina.

With temperatures nudging 40C and with an excessive heat warning in place from the Greek meteorological service, Dr Mosley set out for Symi but made the mistake of trying to take a difficult mountain route.

Once in Pedi there was an easy option of getting back to Symi, following the main road – while not as scenic, it offers shelter and places to stop for rest and water.

Instead Dr Mosley decided to press on and take the inland route which climbs up from Pedi to a height of about 60m before dropping down towards a man-made beach at Agia Marina. 

It was here that sadly Dr Mosley’s body was found face up in a rocky area just after 10am on Sunday, after mayor Lefterios Papakalodoukas spotted something ‘unusual’ from the sea while sailing away following media interviews.

At around 2.09pm local time, firefighters arrived at the marina by boat and carried an orange stretcher and large black bag to where the body was found.

Other people wearing plain clothes got off the white speed boat and took briefcases up the rocky hill.

After around half an hour a party of six firefighters carefully gathered Dr Mosley’s body and placed it onto the orange stretcher.

It was then taken down to a jetty and loaded onto a small white tender and taken away to a mortuary on the island of Rhodes for a postmortem.

Two forensic officers remained at the scene examining the area where the body was found and the refused to comment as they left.

It earlier emerged that Dr Mosley’s grown-up children Alex, Jack, Dan and Kate were just 350ft away from where the body was found when they retraced their father’s steps yesterday.

It appeared the Mail columnist had walked around the perimeter of the beach bar at Agia Marina and was heading towards the sea.

Temperatures at the time were around 37c and though he had a bottle of water with him the heat would have made it incredibly difficult.

A coroner has now said an initial examination had ruled out foul play as there were ‘no obvious injuries’ to Dr Mosley’s body – yet further tests would have to be carried out at a hospital in Rhodes to firmly establish the cause of death. 

A spokesman for the coroner said: ‘It looks like it was a fall but we need establish whether he had a medical episode before that and it will take time.’ 

Sophie Laurimore, director of The Soho Agency, which represented Dr Michael Mosley, described him as a ‘wise, wonderful and lovely man’.

She said: ‘It is with such profound sadness that we say farewell to our dear friend and client, the wise, wonderful and lovely man, Michael Mosley.

‘Michael loved what he did and found it a pleasure and a great privilege to work with his colleagues in TV, radio, publishing and at his business, The Fast 800.

‘He was immensely grateful for how receptive the public were to the ideas he had the privilege to share and to the many scientists whose work he had the honour to help popularise.

‘Our hearts are with Clare and the children. Michael was unique. The work he did was important. We will miss him dreadfully.’

Mr Papakalodoukas was talking to reporters on the beach as he stood just yards from where Dr Mosley’s body would be found minutes later.

After ending the interviews, he had got back into a boat and was heading back to Pedi when he turned round and something ‘unusual’ caught his eye.

Greek TV crews zoomed in, telling him it looked like a body. They speculated he may have got ‘dizzy’ so ‘sat down to relax and he fainted’. 

Antonis Mystiloglou, a cameraman with state TV ERT, said they had zoomed in as close as the could on ‘something black outside of the fence at the end of the beach’. 

‘The description is exactly as the guy we are looking for. I’m really sorry for the family. I’m sorry that I’m the one who found him,’ he said.

‘I wish we had better news. It was a rocky place with sharp rocks. My guess is that he got dizzy, he sat down to relax and he fainted.’ 

Mr Papakalodoukas immediately alerted a nearby restaurant whose waiter Ilias Tsavaris was sent to investigate. 

He rushed over and was struck by the sun glinting off Dr Mosley’s watch – and as he got closer he realised with horror it was the missing health guru.

Journalists were just behind him and captured the look of horror on the waiter’s face as he ushered them away and then called police who arrived twenty minutes later.

The body was close to the perimeter fence of the beach restaurant and not more than 30m away from where holiday-makers had been enjoying the sunshine.

In another twist, a police officer at the scene suffered a suspected broken leg as he jumped from a wall close to the body and had to be carried away on a stretcher.

Customers continued ordering lunch while others swam or played beach volleyball as forensic teams and emergency services set about their grim task.

Pictures were taken of the body and the scene by officials wearing gloves and face masks, while it appeared that his rucksack had been found away from his body.

A female investigator could be seen clearly picking up the khaki rucksack and holding it up about 20ft up the slope away from the body.

What investigators will now try and piece together now is how and why Dr Mosley ended up where he was and why he his body had not been seen during searches.

The doctor was with friends at Agios Nikolaos beach on Wednesday before going alone for a walk to the centre of the island.

It is thought that he had managed to climb the slope from Pedi to the top of hill overlooking Agia Marina – but what is not clear is why he then decided to skirt the edge of the restaurant.

A more obvious route would be a signed path down to the restaurant, which looks on to a small island, before continuing the hike to Symi port.

Guide books describe the walk as going through a ‘desert mountain landscape’ with much of the path being ‘stony to very stony underfoot’.

One describes ‘false trails which can mislead’ while being ‘stony and uncomfortable’, adding that there is ‘little vegetation’ along the route with only sheep and goats for company.

Dr Mosley’s wife Clare Bailey, who shares four children with the TV doctor, said: ‘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. We are so grateful to the extraordinary people on Symi who have worked tirelessly to help find him.

‘Some of these people on the island, who hadn’t even heard of Michael, worked from dawn till dusk unasked. We’re also very grateful to The Press who have dealt with us with great respect.’

Dr Bailey, who was married to the TV doctor for nearly 40 years, 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 x.’

Ted Verity, Editor of Mail Newspapers, said: ‘Everyone at the Mail is absolutely devastated to hear of the death of Dr Michael Mosley.

‘Michael wasn’t just a unique and unmissable columnist. He was part of the Mail family.

‘Since he first wrote for us in 2011, we have published hundreds of his weekly columns and serialised many of his best-selling books – from the ground-breaking fast diets to others on gut health and sleep.

‘It’s no exaggeration to say that over the years Michael’s insights – especially his revelation that you CAN reverse type two diabetes – will have extended, and even saved, the lives of countless readers.

‘In person, whether warning of the perils of skimmed milk or enthusing about his latest madcap experiment on his own body, Michael was as electrifying as he was in print and on TV.

‘What shone through was his irrepressible curiosity – he was always hungry to learn about the very latest, cutting-edge science and medicine and then explain it to readers in a way that was both engaging and comprehensible to a mainstream audience.

‘Michael was also extremely kind, not hesitating to be one of the first to offer his home as sanctuary to a Ukrainian family.

‘And he always spoke with enormous love and warmth of his wife Clare, his co-author on many projects, and four children Alexander, Jack, Daniel and Katherine.

‘Our hearts go out to them all.’

The question for investigators is to try and understand why he was found where he was. Did he slip and fall as he tried to reach the water? Did he have some form of attack? Why did a helicopter that flew over several times on Saturday not spot him?

What is clear though, is that tragically it looks like Dr Mosley tragically passed away within two hours of setting off.

One waiter at Agia Marina told : ‘I just can’t believe it. He was so close to us for all these days.

‘They searched the area on foot and the helicopter flew over on Saturday – how was he missed?’

But for now those questions will be far from the heartbroken family’s mind as they come together and grieve for a devoted father and husband.

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