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Rescuers hunting for missing Michael Mosley are now searching dangerous cave called ‘The Abyss’ amid fears Mail columnist is trapped in the ‘endless’ underwater tunnel system

Rescue teams desperately hunting for missing Mail columnist Dr Michael Mosley are focusing their search on a dangerous cave complex known as The Abyss.

Their efforts in the network of caverns and ‘endless’ underwater tunnels, yesterday found no trace of the TV medic, but his wife has vowed the family will ‘not lose hope’ of finding him.

Speaking yesterday for the first time since her husband’s mysterious disappearance, Clare Bailey spoke powerfully of the ‘longest and most unbearable days for myself and my children’.

Greek police yesterday released new CCTV footage of Dr Mosley taken on Wednesday afternoon, the day he vanished on the island of Symi. 

He was carrying an umbrella to protect himself from the 35C (95F) heat and walking purposefully towards a mountain trail.

New CCTV appears to show Mail columnist Michael Mosley walking towards rocky hills from the town of Pedi on Wednesday

The health expert, pictured with his wife Clare Bailey, has not been seen since he went for a walk on the Green island of Symi

The health expert, pictured with his wife Clare Bailey, has not been seen since he went for a walk on the Green island of Symi

Volunteers walk mountain paths on Symi where Michael Mosley may have gone after disappearing on Wednesday

Volunteers walk mountain paths on Symi where Michael Mosley may have gone after disappearing on Wednesday

A rescue helicopter joined the search yesterday, seen here hovering over Pedi

A rescue helicopter joined the search yesterday, seen here hovering over Pedi

In a statement yesterday Dr Bailey, 62, 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.’

Dr Bailey last saw her 67-year-old husband on the secluded St Nicholas beach on Wednesday, when he set off to walk to the town of Pedi from where he was expected to catch a bus back to his villa in the port of Symi. 

However the CCTV footage taken in Pedi at about 2pm shows him heading for the mountains instead.

Since then – and despite a massive search operation involving dogs, drones, helicopters and divers – there has been no sighting of the writer and broadcaster.

Last night, sources told The Mail on Sunday Dr Bailey had been called in again to give rescuers further details about what her husband had with him when he disappeared.

An official said: ‘It’s been four days and no trace has been found of him so it was just to go over things again. 

‘She explained he was wearing a khaki backpack and had his wallet, bottle of water and a watch, which was not a smart watch.’

On Friday, the couple’s four grown-up children travelled to Symi to join their mother.

They were understood to be part of the search party yesterday scouring the two-mile path from Pedi to Agia Marina, as small beach near The Abyss, where rescue efforts will continue today.

To enter those treacherous caves, Dr Mosley would have to have swum from the Agia Marina beach – the same way the coastguard and divers accessed them yesterday.

This is the picture of Dr Mosley posted with an appeal after he went missing while walking on holiday in Greece on Wednesday

This is the picture of Dr Mosley posted with an appeal after he went missing while walking on holiday in Greece on Wednesday

A café on the island of Symi where Dr Mosley was seen passing on CCTV footage

A café on the island of Symi where Dr Mosley was seen passing on CCTV footage 

Reporter Nick Pisa on the pathway that Michael Mosely used to return to Pedi Beach

Reporter Nick Pisa on the pathway that Michael Mosely used to return to Pedi Beach

Rescuers have also been searching around a separate rocky path close to Agia Marina, which rises across jagged limestone terrain and leads by a longer route back to Symi. But it is not marked and guidebooks warn it is a ‘technically difficult’ trail.

The Mail on Sunday walked a section of this path yesterday and, although manageable, it would certainly be hard work under a fierce sun. 

One member of the search team who we encountered said: ‘We have footage of him going this way from the last house in Pedi. 

‘This is a difficult walk at the best of times and should not be done between 11am and 5pm. We think he was here during the hottest part of the day, at 2pm.’

Rescuers are concerned for Dr Mosley’s welfare because of the dangerous heat and described the hunt as a ‘race against time’ with every minute invaluable. 

All boats have been asked to keep an eye out for him in the water and in a sign of how urgently they were treating the situation, firefighters who had been tackling blazes on the nearby island of Kos were transferred to Symi after bringing the flames under control.

At the purpose-built Agia Marina, beach, staff told The Mail on Sunday police had asked to check their CCTV. 

One employee said: ‘I’m pretty certain I would have remembered a man with an umbrella but no one came this way dressed like that. 

‘It’s a climb to the top of the mountain, then you walk down and it climbs again before you meet a road taking you into the town. It would take about an hour, hour and a half maximum.

‘There is nothing between here and Symi apart from stones, more stones and sheep and goats. It’s all exposed and I wouldn’t try and walk it in this heat.’

Search teams have been fanning out across the Greek island of Symi, an unspoilt paradise in the Dodecanese islands off the coast of Rhodes

Search teams have been fanning out across the Greek island of Symi, an unspoilt paradise in the Dodecanese islands off the coast of Rhodes

Rescuers continue the search as Michael's wife Dr Clare Bailey declared 'we will not lose hope'

Rescuers continue the search as Michael’s wife Dr Clare Bailey declared ‘we will not lose hope’ 

There are fears Michael Mosley may have become disoriented in the heat and wandered off the trail, although this seems unlikely as it is clearly marked. Pictured: Rescuers on the trail

There are fears Michael Mosley may have become disoriented in the heat and wandered off the trail, although this seems unlikely as it is clearly marked. Pictured: Rescuers on the trail

The unforgiving limestone terrain is described in guidebooks as a 'desert mountains scape with much of the path 'stony to very stony underfoot'

The unforgiving limestone terrain is described in guidebooks as a ‘desert mountains scape with much of the path ‘stony to very stony underfoot’

Symi’s mayor Lefteris Papakalodoukas said: ‘We know he came through Pedi and then walked onwards towards Agia Marina, it is about two miles and a harder walk than from St Nicholas.

‘But then we don’t know if he reached Agia Marina or if he decided to climb over the mountain… but that path is difficult.

‘Only a few locals know it and although it is marked you can easily get lost and it’s not wise do walk it in the middle of the afternoon in temperatures approaching 40C. If he did try and walk that way to Symi then that is a big mistake.

‘There are also many troubling questions here. Why did he leave the beach and his wife and friends? Why did he not take his telephone?

‘From the CCTV footage it’s also clear he didn’t stop for a drink in Pedi or take a rest. He seemed to be walking very determinedly. Surely it would have been better for him to stop and have a coffee or some water – but, no, he decided to carry on.’

A local restaurant owner, who asked to be named only as Nikos said: ‘It’s very strange what has happened, where has he gone to?

‘It’s only a small island and he was wearing bright clothes. The fire brigade, police and coastguard have been searching for three days and found nothing.

‘They have had a drone up and seen nothing and they have used thermal images as well.’

Yesterday, for the first time in 36 hours, a fire brigade helicopter joined the search as it flew over the mountain track where Dr Mosley was thought to have headed.

Swooping low above the terrain it criss-crossed several times before heading back to its base on the nearby island of Rhodes.

Dr Mosley – well known for BBC programmes including Trust Me, I’m A Doctor and The One Show as well as a Radio 4’s Just One Thing. – was last thought to have visited Symi eight years ago and was staying with friends in a villa in the centre of Symi port.

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