Emiliano Sala: Search for footballer and pilot called off

The hunt for missing football player Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has been referred to as off after rescuers failed to find their plane.

Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson

Cardiff City's Argentine striker, 28, and mr Ibbotson
were on the craft that disappeared from radar on Monday.

After 3 days, authorities made the decision to abandon the search.

Guernsey Police tweeted at 15:15 GMT to say rescuers were "no longer actively searching" for the plane.

Who is Emiliano Sala?

The statement, from harbourmaster Capt David Barker said the probabilities of survival "are extremely remote".

 We reviewed all the data available to US, as well as knowing what emergency equipment was on board, and have taken the difficult decision to end the search," he added.

He told BBC News: "I understand Emiliano Sala's family aren't content with the decision to stop the search and i fully understand that.

 I'm absolutely confident that we couldn't have done any more."

As the news was announced, Sala's sister took part in a press conference in Cardiff.

Capt Barker said that the depth of the sea where the plane had last contact was about 100m and it'd remain a missing persons case for the police.

 Despite best efforts of air and search assets from the Channel Islands, United Kingdom and France...we have been unable to find any trace of the craft the pilot or the passenger," he added.

The single-engine plane carrying Sala and pilot David Ibbotson, from Lincolnshire, left Nantes, north-west France, at 19:15 on Monday and had been flying at 5,000ft (1,500m) over the Channel Islands when it disappeared off radar near the Casquets lighthouse, near to Alderney.

Rescue crews have searched about 1,700sq m of land and sea in the Channel Islands in the past 3 days, covering Burhou, the Casquets, Alderney, the north coast of the Cherbourg peninsula, north coast of Jersey and Sark.

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