What is 'the Abyss' in Symi? Michael Mosley's body found in Greek island cave network

What is 'the Abyss' in Symi? Michael Mosley's body found in Greek island cave network
TV doctor Michael Mosley dies aged 67 after going missing on holiday

The body of missing TV presenter Michael Mosley has been found on the Greek island of Symi, after he disappeared on Wednesday when he went out for a walk.

Mosley was discovered next to an umbrella beneath a fence in a rocky area beside the Agia Marina beach on Symi.

But during the search operation, it was reported police were worried the TV presenter may have entered a dangerous cave network which the media has called the Abyss, which is near the beach where the body was found.

The cave network would have had to have been accessed by swimming from the beach, and the tunnels are understood to stretch for many miles underground.

It was described by The Sunas a "rocky outcrop" with "water-filled 'bottomless' tunnels".

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."

But locals are correcting media reporting on the Abyss. Kostas Kallergis, a producer at the BBC wrote on Twitter/X, "there is no such thing as a cave called 'the Abyss' on #Symi island #Greece." Rather, "it's simply one of the many cave pits that can be found across the island."

They went on to say the pit is known locally as the "cave of Agia Marina." Saying, "some local has probably used the word abyss to describe it simply because it's the Greek word for a really deep or bottomless geological formation."

The Mayor of Symi, Lefteris Papakalodoukas, said, "it is unclear if [Mosley] had an accident or if he fell unwell." He was round lying face up, with his head on a rock.

The wife of TV doctor and columnist Michael Mosley said it is “devastating” to have lost her “wonderful, funny, kind and brilliant husband” as she confirmed he has been found dead on the Greek island of Symi after going missing on Wednesday.His former co-presenter Saleyha Ehsan told Sky News, "He lived and breathed his work. He was an inspiration. I hate even saying was. Is an inspiration."

In a statement from his agent to the PA news agency, Dr Clare Bailey Mosley 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.”

She said the family are also “so grateful to the extraordinary people on Symi” who worked “tirelessly” to help find Mosley, with some working from dawn until dusk unasked.Tom Watson, the former deputy leader of the Labour Party, described Michael Mosley as a “hero.”

“It’s hard to describe how upset I am by this news,” Mr Watson said posting on Twitter, formerly X.

“Through courageous, science-based journalism, Michael Mosley has helped thousands of people get well and healthy. I’m one of them.

“He was a hero to me. He will be deeply missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Mr Watson said in an interview after losing around 7st that Mosley’s The Fast Diet book was part of his weight-loss regime.

Academic and broadcaster Alice Roberts shared three pictures on social media with Michael Mosley, with whom she first worked with on her 2009 TV series Human Journey.

Prof Roberts wrote: “The fragility of life is so shocking.

“I’ve known Michael Mosley for many years – as a tv producer specialising in science and medicine. He was the executive producer of my 2009 series Human Journey.

“When he started presenting as well as producing, we made several science programmes together.

“And we met up at Hay Festival just 2 weeks ago.

“I can’t believe he’s gone. My thoughts are with his bereaved family.”

Additional reporting by PA.

Sign upto our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

How to join the indy100's free WhatsApp channel

The Conversation (0)