Wreckage of missing plane carrying Cardiff City's Emiliano Sala found

Ruben Holloway
February 4, 2019

A wreck was found on the seabed on Sunday and closer inspection by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) confirmed both that it was the missing plane, and that a body was inside.

The AAIB will discuss their next steps with the families of the pilot and the passenger and police.

Public pleas from Sala's family, however, as well as a crowdfunding campaign that received contributions from several notable soccer stars including Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe, led to the search being restarted on January 27. "After that we called in the larger vessel, the GEO Ocean III - that's the one that's been contracted by the AAIB".

He and his pilot David Ibbotson were flying to Cardiff after the Argentinian striker made a visit over to say goodbye to his former teammates at Nantes.

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Marine scientist David Mearns, who is directing the private search on behalf of the Sala family, said: "Tomorrow the weather will be good".

The tweets from Mearns reflected the information Sky News said he told them in Guernsey in the English Channel Islands.

David Mearns revealed search efforts to recover the missing plane began on Saturday morning and are focusing on an area north of Guernsey.

FPV Morven, the vessel, that was responsible for the breakthrough, was using side-scan sonar and was able to locate the wreckage "within about an hour and a half of searching" on Sunday, Mearns said.

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The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) also sent a team aboard a vessel, the Geo Ocean III.

In a statement, the the AAIB added: "We intend to publish an interim report within one month of the accident occurring".

Sala had just completed a £15m transfer to Cardiff City from French club Nantes.

A few days later, seat cushions believed to be from the missing plane were found on a beach near Surtainville, on the northwest coast of France.

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Cardiff paid tribute to Sala at the start of their Premier League match against Bournemouth over the weekend - the first time the club has been in action since the tragedy.

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