Emiliano Sala: Police end search for missing Cardiff player
Search and rescue efforts looking for the Argentinean forward have ended with police "unable to find any trace of the aircraft, pilot or passenger".
The search for the missing aircraft that was carrying Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala has been abandoned, with Guernsey Police assessing the chances of survival as being "extremely remote".
Search and rescue efforts resumed for a third day early on Thursday after the Piper Malibu with Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on board went missing en route to the Welsh capital on Monday.
The 28-year-old Argentinian forward became Cardiff's record signing when he agreed to join them from Ligue 1 side Nantes over the weekend.
Following an extensive operation covering approximately 1,700 square miles around the Channel Islands, a statement issued by Guernsey Police from harbour master captain David Barker confirmed the active search had been abandoned after his team had been "unable to find any trace of the aircraft, the pilot or the passenger".
"My team have just met to review the search and rescue operation which has been underway since the plane disappeared on Monday night," Barker said.
"Despite the best efforts of air and search assets from the Channel Islands, UK and France, which has covered an area of approximately 1,700sq. miles – with a significant amount of this searched more than once – and having examined mobile phone data and satellite imagery, we have been unable to find any trace of the aircraft, the pilot or the passenger.
"There has been over 24 hours of continuous searching, with 80 hours combined flying time across three planes and five helicopters. Two lifeboats have also been involved, as well as assistance from various passing ships and fishing boats.
"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. The chances of survival at this stage are extremely remote.
"Next of kin have been informed of this development, and my thoughts go out to the family of the pilot and passenger at this most difficult of times."