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23rd Jan 2019

Emiliano Sala search is being called a ‘recovery not rescue’ effort

Wayne Farry

The statement was made by Channel Islands Air Search on Wednesday

The search for the plane which disappeared over the Channel Islands while carrying Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala is now a recovery effort rather than a rescue operation, according to the Channel Islands Air Search.

Sala, who became Cardiff’s record signing after agreeing a £15 million deal over the weekend, was on board a plane from Nantes to Cardiff when it vanished over the Channel Islands on Monday.

Guernsey Police on Wednesday confirmed that they were prioritising the possibility that Sala and the pilot had boarded the life rafts on board the plane, but on Wednesday evening the Channel Islands Air Search revealed that the search had become a recovery operation.

The other possibilities put forward by Guernsey Police were 1) that the plane had landed elsewhere but not made contact, 2) landed on water, had been picked up by a passing ship but not made contact and 3) that the aircraft broke up on contact with the water, leaving them in the sea.

“I think very much it is that sort of recovery stage now,” said chief officer John Fitzgerald.

“It’s trying to find parts of the aircraft, whatever is floating on the surface.”

280 square miles were searched by a number of aircraft over five hours on Wednesday, according to Guernsey Police.

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