Body found in wreckage of plane carrying football player Sala, investigators say

Marine scientist David Mearns

Marine scientist David Mearns

The plane carrying Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson from Nantes, France, to Cardiff in Wales disappeared from radar over the English Channel on the evening of January 21.

The families of the £15m striker and his pilot David Ibbotson are waiting to hear whose body is in the fuselage of the Piper Malibu that vanished in a storm two weeks ago.

Although the seabed search on Sunday was conducted in conjunction with British air accident investigators, they have not said if they plan to raise the wreckage to the surface.

A private search of the waters off Guernsey revealed wreckage of the plane, with an unidentified body inside, on the seabed off the coast of Guernsey on Sunday morning.

The aircraft disappeared over the English Channel on January 21 as it flew from the French city of Nantes to Cardiff, where Sala was due to start playing in the Premier League.

A statement from the AAIB confirmed that underwater video footage showed "one occupant [is] visible" in the wreckage. The AAIB is now considering the next steps, in consultation with the families of the pilot, passenger and police.

Marine scientist David Mearns - known as "The Shipwreck Hunter" - led a team on the search vessel FPV Morven, which found the plane.

"It's imperative that the plane is recovered, and now even more so now we know someone is down there", Mearns said.

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But it is not yet known whether the body that was found is that of Emiliano Sala or the pilot that was with him when they embarked on the trip.

SPORTbible would like to send out its condolences to the families and friends of Mr Sala and Mr Ibbotson during this hard time.

He said "I communicated with the search party every day".

He approached the Sala family offering to look for the wreck after a crowdfunding page to look for the plane raised £340,000 (371,000 euros). I just can't believe it. They called off the search only after concluding that no one would be found alive.

Sala was travelling to Wales to join Cardiff City, after signing a $29 million deal with his new club.

"We hope that they can recover him as soon as possible, to find out what happened", Sala's father, Horacio, said.

"They kept saying days were going by, and that there had been zero word on Emiliano, or on the plane".

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