NEWS
04/02/2019 09:55 GMT

Emiliano Sala’s Father Describes Anguish After Missing Footballer’s Plane Wreckage Is Found

The Premier League footballer is presumed dead after the crash last month.

Emiliano Sala’s father has described his anguish after the wreckage of the plane carrying his son was found. 

Both Sala and pilot David Ibbotson are missing presumed dead.

The downed Piper Malibu aircraft was located near Alderney on Sunday with state-of-the-art sonar kit that scoured the seabed.

“I cannot believe it. This is a dream. A bad dream. I am desperate,” Horacio Sala told Argentinian broadcaster Cronica TV.

The plane was found by private investigators after his family and football stars including Lionel Messi raised £325,000 to launch their own search.

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“I communicated with them every day, but since I do not have WhatsApp it’s hard to call them or call me,” Sala’s father said.

“They told me that the days passed and there was no news of Emiliano or the plane.”

The plane vanished on Monday evening near to the Channel Islands. It had been transporting Cardiff City striker Sala, 28, who was due to begin training for the Welsh side following his transfer from FC Nantes.

It lost contact near the Casquets lighthouse around eight miles north west of Alderney at 8.30pm on 21 January.

On Sunday, two vessels, including one commissioned by the AAIB, using sonar took part in a fresh search covering an area of around four square nautical miles.

Marine scientist David Mearns, the director of Blue Water Recoveries, led a team on the search vessel FPV Morven funded by Sala’s family while the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) also sent a team aboard its the Geo Ocean III.

Mearns told BBC Radio 4’s Today show on Monday morning that it was a “possibility” that the bodies Sala and Ibbotson would be found among the plane wreckage in the English Channel.

The shipwreck hunter said “most” of the plane was there.

He said: “We were expecting to find a debris field, it is broken, but most of it is there.”

Asked whether the bodies were likely to still be on board, he said: “That’s a possibility, and they will be planning for that as well so there’s a number of things the AAIB have to consider but their main role obviously is to conduct their investigation of what caused this crash.”