After three days, the police stopped looking for the football player Emiliano Sala, who had probably crashed. The chances of the Argentine surviving are negligible, the authorities report.
When the rescue planes landed again on Thursday without the slightest trace of Emiliano Sala, there was only one bitter decision left: At 3:15 p.m. local time, the police on the British Channel Island of Guernsey gave up the search for the Argentine football professional who presumably crashed across the English Channel known to the English pilot David Ibbotson. The chances of survival at that point were negligible.
“We made this difficult decision after reviewing all of the information again, also with regard to the emergency equipment onboard the aircraft,” said a statement by the responsible harbor master David Barker: “The chances of survival at this point in time are excellent low.”
No traces to be found
Sala’s sister Romina, who had flown to Cardiff from home in Progreso, Argentina, pleaded in front of the cameras to continue the search. “I know in my heart that Emiliano is still alive,” she said. Even if the active search is over, the case will not be closed, the police said. All planes and ships in the area in question are advised to look for the allegedly damaged plane. This will continue without a time limit, said Barker. It is highly questionable whether Sala’s fate will ever be finally resolved.
By Thursday, three planes and five helicopters had searched 4,400 square kilometers on three days. No trace of the machine with Sala was discovered. On the third day after the alleged crash, various coastal sections were searched, as well as the small island of Burhou on foot. Barker had expressed quiet hope on Thursday. “They could survive three hours in the water, but if they were in an inflatable boat, the time would be longer.” It is not clear whether Sala and the 60-year-old pilot had access to one.
The concern for the fate of the missing striker continued unabated. For example, at Sevilla 2-0 in the Spanish Cup quarter-final against FC Barcelona, French scorer Wissam Ben Yedder dedicated his goal to the missing person, revealing a T-shirt that said: “To my brother, hold on, E. Sala. “
The Piper PA-46 Malibu model, registered in the United States, disappeared on Monday evening on the flight from Nantes to Cardiff, around 20 kilometers north of the Channel Island of Guernsey. Sala had voiced his fear of disaster in a voice message during the flight. Now the data from Sala’s cell phone have also been evaluated in order to obtain new information about the possible crash site.
The striker had made the perfect move from French top division FC Nantes to Cardiff City into the English Premier League last Saturday. The Welsh are said to have paid a record club fee of around 17 million euros.