Sport World

Emiliano Sala: Search for footballer and pilot called off

The search for missing footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has been called off after rescuers failed to find their plane.

Cardiff City’s Argentine striker, 28, and Mr Ibbotson, from Crowle, Lincolnshire, were on the aircraft that disappeared from radar on Monday.

After three days of scouring the English Channel, authorities made the decision to abandon the search.

But Sala’s sister Romina pleaded with rescuers to keep looking for him.

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

Harbourmaster Capt David Barker said the chances of survival were “extremely remote”.

“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,” he added.

He said: “I understand Emiliano Sala’s family are not 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 Romina pleaded with the authorities to keep searching, saying: “I know in my heart Emiliano is still alive.”

She said: “Please, please, please don’t stop the search. We understand the effort but please don’t stop the search.

“For us, they are still alive. It is difficult to express our feelings at the moment because everything is really hard.

“Emiliano is a fighter. I’m asking you please, don’t stop looking for them. It’s been three days and I’ve still got hope that they’re alive.

“It’s terrible, it’s desperate not knowing anything. We don’t have certainty of anything.”

bbc

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