Forty-eight hours after the plane carrying Argentine striker Emiliano Sala, 28, from Nantes to Cardiff lost contact with the British civil aviation radars in the English Channel, the commotion in the world of football is total. In the late afternoon of Wednesday, the British police of the island of Guernsey, near the place of disappearance of the aircraft, decided to suspend the search efforts without having been able to find any trace of the apparatus neither of the player nor of the pilot.
"After an intensive search using several planes and a rescue boat during the last nine hours, we have not found any trace of the missing plane," Guernsey police said. "The decision to resume the search will be taken tomorrow morning [este jueves]"
The researchers deployed up to three planes and a helicopter, as well as a rescue boat, to try to find the two castaways in an area that stretches over just over 3,000 square kilometers on the shores of the French coast. A methodical analysis of the satellite images and all the signals related to the activity of a mobile phone that had been issued in that area was also carried out, thus indicating a human presence, without this protocol also bearing fruit. At noon on Wednesday, the Guernsey police were weighing the hypothesis that Emiliano Sala and the pilot had taken refuge in a life raft.
"They will not find me"
Although many French and British experts in rescue operations at sea warned about the almost nil possibilities of finding Emiliano Sala alive, due to the high risks of hypothermia when the earth's temperature is currently at zero degrees in neighboring Normandy, they were to know some information about the circumstances of the drama, like an audio message from WhatsApp sent by Sala to his friends before the trail of the plane was lost. "I'm here on top of the plane, which seems to be falling apart and I'm going to Cardiff," said the 28-year-old striker, who had just signed for the club Premier (a transfer of 17 million) after highlighting in the French League, where he had 12 goals this season. "If in an hour and a half they have no news of mine, I do not know if they are going to send someone to look for me because they will not find me, but you know. Father! How scary I am, "Sala added, with the background noise of the plane.
Also, Guernsey police was able to establish the identity of the pilot in charge of taking the Italian-Argentine footballer to the Welsh capital, on Monday night, hours after Emiliano Sala had collected his last belongings at the Nantes facilities, club in who had been a striker since the summer of 2016, and had said goodbye, with laughter and some tears, from his former team-mates. The pilot is David Ibbotson, a 60 year old Englishman, father of three children, and an engineer by profession. According to the French press, he drove airplanes for parachute jumping clubs in his spare time.
Yesterday, the Cardiff denied the information issued by the player's own mother, Mercedes, who pointed out that the plane belonged to the owners of the entity. "We asked the player if he wanted us to make arrangements for his return trip, which would have been perfectly on a commercial flight, but he rejected our offer and preferred to do it on his own," the club said.