MARK WARNER Holiday, the company responsible for the Ocean Club resort used by the McCanns for their spring break, said it was committed to doing all it can to support the family.
In a statement on its website, the company says: “Three-year-old Madeleine McCann was reported missing by her parents at just after 10pm on Thursday May 3 at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz in Portugal, and the Portuguese police are continuing with their intensive investigations.
“This is an extremely distressing time for the McCann family, and Mark Warner is committed to doing all we can to support them. We have sent out counselors, and directors of the company are also on hand to support the family and our resort team in any way possible.”
The company says it is awaiting further information from the local police and that it will update its website when new information becomes available.
It adds that Mrs McCann has made a plea to whoever may have or has had contact with Madeleine since Thursday night to come forward, or to put her in a place of safety.
If anyone has recently visited the Ocean Club, and believes they may have information that could be of use, please email this to [email protected]. All information will be treated with the strictest confidence and no information, no matter how trivial you believe it might be, will be ignored.
Managing director of Mark Warner Holidays, David Hopkins said the McCanns had “done nothing that I’m sure many parents wouldn’t have done”. He told the BBC: “While keeping a very close eye on their children, who are not far away, (they) go out and enjoy a meal on a holiday in a very, very safe environment.”
Mark Warner Holidays manages Ocean Club, which was established in 1982, but three British residents, David Symington, John Garveigh and Robin Crosland, founded the resort and remain the owning partners.
David Symington came to the Algarve in the 1960s. The Symington family has been in the Port wine shipping business in Porto for generations.
John Garveigh also came to the Algarve with his family in the 1960s, bringing considerable experience of the property market.
Robin Crosland is a British architect and, after spending many years in Africa designing luxury hotels and housing projects, he came to Portugal in the early 1980s. He has been mainly responsible for the architectural design of the Ocean Club. He is the managing director of the whole resort. All three partners still play an active part in the running of the resort.
The Resident attempted to contact Robin Crosland for a comment but he was unavailable in meetings concerning Madeleine’s disappearance.
All press enquiries were being diverted to Mark Warner Holidays. Upon contacting Ocean Estates, The Resident was informed that David Symington and John Garveigh are currently out of the country.
Mark Warner resorts offer either a free room listening or a drop-in crèche service for young children.
The room listening service operates from 8pm until midnight when nannies tour the rooms checking on the children and reporting any problems to parents.
The drop-in crèche service operates from 7.30pm until 11.30pm and allows people to drop off their children at the resort’s crèche where they are entertained with films, games and so on, or sleep in a designated quiet area.
The Mark Warner website states: “For you to relax on holiday, you want to know your children are in expert hands, being cared for in a happy safe environment. That’s why all our nannies are fully trained by us either in the UK or at the resort, are all English-speaking and the majority hold a DCE, NNEB, NVQ or equivalent qualification.”
According to the company’s website, extra baby-sitting can be arranged in resort through the Childcare Manager at 12 to 15 euros per hour.
The Resident spoke to John Hill, operations manager for Mark Warner at Ocean Club, who said the parents went for dinner at a tapas restaurant in the resort while the children Madeleine and two-year-old twins, Amelie and Sean, were asleep in their accommodation.
John Hill said: “They had not requested the dining out service, a child minding service which allows parents to enjoy a meal while their children are being looked after by qualified personnel.”
While this service is available at the resort, the parents decided to check on the children at regular half hourly intervals themselves.
Do you have a view on this story? Email: [email protected]
Updated 12:11, May 10, 2007
DAY 7 OF THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MADELEINE McCANN