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Old 05-02-19, 01:57   #4
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Update re: Missing Footballer Plane Wreckage Found >One Occupant Visible

'It's a Dream, a Bad Dream. I'm Desperate': Father of Footballer Emiliano Sala Tells of His Pain After The Plane That was Carrying His Son was Found at The Bottom of The English Channel

'One Occupant' Visible in Wrecked Plane

  • Two boats found the wreckage of Argentinean footballer's plane on Sunday
  • The striker's emotional father Horacio spoke to television channel in Argentina
  • Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson left Nantes for Cardiff on January 21
  • The plane went missing over the English Channel and could not be located
  • Crowdfunded vessel picked up sonar signal before the AAIB boat confirmed find
  • Wreckage of the Piper Malibu will now be probed for clues as to what happened
Daily Mail UK 4 FEB 2019.

Emiliano Sala's father Horacio, speaking after his son's disappearance. Yesterday he told how he was 'desperate' and in a 'bad dream' after the plane's wreckage was found on the sea bed

The specialist FPV Morven ship, pictured in Guernsey, was being used in a privately funded search for the plane of missing footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson...

The specialist search for the missing plane began off the coast of Guernsey yesterday morning and located the wreckage on the seabed just hours later.

Sala and pilot Ibbotson left Nantes in France for Cardiff on January 21 - after the star signed for the Welsh Premier League team, disappearing over the Channel.

The official search was called off after four days but Sala's friends, family and fans clubbed together to pay for a private search to continue with renowned shipwreck hunter David Mearns.

On Sunday morning, their efforts paid off.

Geo Ocean III left Ostend in Belgium at 9am and began combing the area. Within hours it was search vessel FPV Morven which picked up a sonar signal from the depths.

The wreckage of the Piper Malibu was formally identified by officials from the Air Accident Investigation Board.

The AAIB's vessel deployed a remote-controlled submarine to examine the plane and tonight confirmed it was the craft carrying the striker.

Families of both men have been informed of the discovery.

Sala's father said last night he had not had any contact with the rest of his family - who are still in a hotel in Nantes - and found out about the plane's discovery on TV.

'I communicated with them every day, but since I do not have Whatsapp it's hard to call them or call me. They told me that the days passed and there was no news of Emiliano or the plane,' said Horacio.

He said that the family are in the hotel along with 'eight or nine' friends who are believed to have received the news from Argentine embassies in France and England, at 9am.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) Geo Ocean III moved in to assist the Morven when it discovered wreckage. Geo sent an ROV to visually identify the wreck on the seabed

Both the AAIB's Geo Ocean III vessel and a private boat, which includes a side-scan sonar, were used to try and find the aircraft.

Teams from the AAIB have now moved into location at the site to recover the aircraft.
The vessel that made the discovery was lead by marine scientist David Mearns, who confirmed the identity and location of the plane.

He confirmed that it was in the early stages of this morning's search, around 9am, the discovery was made.

'But tonight they have heard devastating news and in respect of the families I won't comment any further about what has happened.'

The recovery vessel picked up something on the sonar 24 miles off Guernsey and made further passes over the area to pinpoint the location before going through various stages of identification.

David Mearns called the news 'devastating' but told Sky News that 'at least we were able to bring some sort of answer to the families.'

A track of the FPV Morven shows it returning to shore after the wreckage was discovered

Mr Mearns told Sky News: 'This is about the best result we could have hoped for the families'

The discovery came just two days after cushions from a plane were found on a beach near Surtainville in Normandy, France, directly east of Guernsey where the plane disappeared from radar.

Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson disappeared when their plane vanished as it passed near Alderney on 21 January during a flight from Nantes to Cardiff.
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