The search for Emiliano Sala and the missing pilot carrying the plane has been called off for the second night. The rescuer said there is “no hope” of finding the 28-year-old Argentine or the pilot alive.
The Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson were in the plane that vanished from radar on Monday. Guernsey Police said an “intensive” nine-hour search found no trace of the missing aircraft. A decision on whether to resume will be taken on Thursday.
The £15m Argentine striker, 28, Premier League footballer Emiliano Sala who signed for Cardiff City from Nantes was on a light aircraft which went missing over the Channel Islands.
Cardiff City, which signed Sala from French club Nantes in a record deal on Saturday, said it was “very shocked”.
Guernsey Police said there was “no trace” of the Cardiff-bound flight and has suspended the search for the night.
Sala’s father, Horacio, told Argentine TV channel C5N, he heard the news from a friend.
“I didn’t know anything. I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I’m desperate. I hope everything goes well.”
Meanwhile, John Fitzgerald, chief officer of the Channel Islands Air Search, said the probability of finding anyone alive from the missing aircraft was “reducing very rapidly”.
“In a WhatApp voice message before the plane vanished, he can be heard telling friends they might have to ‘send someone to find me’ with the noise of the engine in the background. Speaking in Spanish he said: ‘Hey guys, how is it going? Brother, I am really tired now. I was over in Nantes sorting things out, doing this, doing that.
‘I am now aboard a plane that seems like it is falling to pieces. I’m going to Cardiff now, crazy, and tomorrow we get going. I will train with my new team tomorrow.’ A little later he asks if everyone is ‘all good’ before saying: ‘If you do not have any more news from me in an hour and a half, I don’t know if they need to send someone to find me. I am getting scared!’
During his final goodbye to his teammates in Nantes he said that he feared for his safety ahead of the flight. Rescue workers this morning resumed their search for a plane carrying Cardiff City’s new record signing Emiliano Sala at sunrise after the light aircraft disappeared over the English Channel. Five aircraft and two lifeboats scoured more than 1,000 square miles for traces of the plane on Monday after it disappeared from radar en route from Nantes in France to Cardiff.”
Sala’s voice message to his friends (MetroSports)