Soccer Player Emiliano Sala on Board Plane That Disappeared in English Channel
An Argentine soccer player flying to a new team that had drafted him in Wales was on board a plane that disappeared off the coast of Guernsey in the UK Monday night.
Officials said Tuesday that Emiliano Sala's aircraft disappeared from the radar while it was over the English Channel Monday night. The 28-year-old player was flying on a Piper PA-46 aircraft from Nantes, France, where he played for the city's team. He was on his way to join the Premier League Club Cardiff team.
According to the AP, the British Coast Guard was alerted at 8:23pm local time Monday after the plane failed to make contact with air traffic control on the Channel Island of Jersey. One other person was reportedly on board with Sala.
Authorities involved with the search said no one on board the lost plane was expected to survive, especially due to the cold water surrounding the Channel Islands, where the plane disappeared. The search was stopped Monday night due to poor weather conditions and rough seas.
“The search was terminated at 2:00, with all search and rescue assets being stood down, due to strengthening winds, worsening sea conditions and reducing visibility,” Guernsey police said. “So far over 1,000 square miles have been searched by a total of five aircraft and two lifeboats. There has been no trace of the aircraft.”
Officials said maritime searchers from both France and Britain would be picking up the search effort Tuesday morning.
Sala was a striker beloved by fans and was the fifth-highest scorer in the French league. He scored 12 goals in 19 games with the league this year.
“He was a polite, nice and adorable player who was loved by everybody,” Waldemar Kita, president of the Nantes team, told French media.
H/T: The AP