Sunday, May 19, 2019

Emiliano Sala: Concerns grow for Cardiff striker after plane goes missing

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 Jan 2019

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There are growing concerns that new Cardiff City signing Emiliano Sala was on board a plane that went missing over the English Channel on Monday.

Guernsey Coastguard received an alert at 2023 local time that a PA 46 Malibu light aircraft, travelling from Nantes to Cardiff, had lost radar contact.

It is feared the striker, who was confirmed as the Premier League club’s record signing on Saturday, was one of two people on board.

An immediate search and rescue operation was launched in the area but was halted in the early hours of Tuesday due to worsening weather conditions. Local and French authorities resumed their efforts at 0800.

In a statement published on Facebook, Guernsey Police said: “Guernsey Coastguard received an alert at 2023 from Jersey ATC, that a light aircraft had gone off their radar approximately 15 miles north of Guernsey, initiating a major search and rescue operation involving both St Peter Port and Alderney lifeboats. Air Search 1 and 2 HM Coastguard helicopters are also involved in the search.

“The PA 46 Malibu, a single turbine engine aircraft was on route from Nantes in France, to Cardiff in Wales, with two people on board when it was lost off radar as Jersey ATC was attempting to make contact.

“A search model was created on SARIS, based on the likely ditching position, and all search and rescue assets were tasked to the area.

“The search was terminated at 0200, with all search and rescue assets being stood down, due to strengthening winds, worsening sea conditions and reducing visibility. At this time no trace of the missing aircraft had been found.

“The aircraft departed Nantes at 1915 for Cardiff. The aircraft was flying at 5000 feet. The aircraft on passing Guernsey requested descent. Jersey ATC lost contact whilst it was flying at 2300 feet.

“Air Search 1 and a French rescue helicopter based in Cherbourg, resumed the search of the area at 0800.”

Sala, 28, joined the Bluebirds from Nantes on a three-and-a-half-year deal. He said his goodbyes to his team-mates at the Ligue 1 club on Monday.

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