Guernsey harbourmaster, Capt David Barker says they have called out search for Emiliano Sala and his pilot David Ibbotson. Barker thinks there is almost no chance that they have survived.
He said (viaTelegraph): “My team have just met to review the search and rescue operation which has been under way since the plane disappeared on Monday night.
“Despite the best efforts of air and search assets from the Channel Islands, UK and France, which has covered an area of approximately 1,700 sq miles – with a significant amount of this searched more than once – and having examined mobile phone data and satellite imagery, we have been unable to find any trace of the aircraft, the pilot or the passenger.
“There has been over 24 hours of continuous searching, with 80 hours combined flying time across three planes and five helicopters. Two lifeboats have also been involved, as well as assistance from various passing ships and fishing boats.”
“We reviewed all the information available to us, as well as knowing what emergency equipment was on board, and have taken the difficult decision to end the search.
According to reports, Sala have sent a voicemail to his father, saying: “I’m here on a plane that looks like it’s about to fall apart, and I’m going to Cardiff … If in an hour and a half you have no news from me, I don’t know if they are going to send someone to look for me because they cannot find me, but you know … Dad, how scared am I!”
“The chances of survival at this stage are extremely remote. Next of kin have been informed of this development, and my thoughts go out to the family of the pilot and passenger at this most difficult of times.” Barker added.
“This has been a very thorough and extensive search, co-ordinated from the Guernsey-based joint emergency services control centre and has seen exemplary cooperation from all countries involved, for which I would like to extend my personal thanks.
“The final aircraft searching for the missing plane and those on board has now landed. Although we are no longer actively searching, the incident remains open and we will be broadcasting to all vessels and aircraft in the area to keep a look out for any trace of the aircraft. This will continue indefinitely.”
As reported earlier, Sala has signed a contract with Cardiff City, and should have moved to Wales from FC Nantes for £13 m.
He has met teammates in France before joining Premier League side. Argentine should have been in Cardiff on Monday.