Emiliano Sala: Missing Footballer’s Plane Found

The airplane carrying missing English Premier League footballer, Emiliano Sala, has been found, his family has been told.

A search boat located the wreckage on the seabed of the English Channel this morning.

There was no immediate official confirmation of what was found but the shipwreck specialist leading the private investigation, David Mearns, said the plane had been discovered.

He said it had been located by the privately hired vessel FPV Morven, which had passed the information on to the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB). Mearns said the AAIB had moved its vessel, the Geo Ocean III, to the spot and visually identified the wreckage with an ROV.

He said the family of Cardiff City striker Sala and the pilot, David Ibbotson, had been informed and the AAIB would be making a statement on Monday. It is believed it will be up to the AAIB to recover the vessel.

No information about whether any bodies were in the plane was given.

Mearns tweeted: “Wreckage of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala and piloted by David Ibbotson was located early this morning by the FPV MORVEN. As agreed with the AAIB they moved the GEO OCEAN III over the position we provided them to visually identify the plane by ROV.”

In a second tweet he said: “The families of Emiliano Sala and David Ibbotson have been notified by Police. The AAIB will be making a statement tomorrow. Tonight our sole thoughts are with the families and friends of Emiliano and David.”

Emiliano Sala

The Piper Malibu aircraft disappeared from radars close to the Channel Islands on 21 January.

Both pilot David Ibbotson and the Argentinian footballer are missing, presumed dead.

Sala had just completed a club record £15m transfer to Cardiff City from French club Nantes.

A privately funded search for the plane that was carrying the missing Cardiff City footballer and his pilot began on Sunday.

The enterprise is being led by the marine scientist David Mearns on behalf of the Sala family.

Mearns said on Saturday: “Tomorrow the weather will be good. We will be able to operate tomorrow.”

The plane, a Piper Malibu, registration N264DB , carrying 28-year-old Sala and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, disappeared over the Channel on 21 January after leaving Nantes, France, for Cardiff.

The plane had requested to descend, then lost contact with Jersey air traffic control.

The private search is being carried out in close co-ordination with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) in an area of four square miles.

Last week, British military investigators announced they would be carrying out an underwater search for the plane after the Argentinian government asked the UK to extend the hunt.

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