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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 February 2019

Search team hopeful of finding the wreckage of missing footballer's plane

Emiliano Sala's aircraft was last reported flying north of Guernsey in the Channel Islands

Search teams looking for the plane of Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala are hopeful of finding the wreckage, as they narrowed the investigation area on Saturday.

David Mearns, a renowned shipwreck hunter, is leading the privately funded search in the Morven survey vessel, managed to identify a pocket of sea of four square nautical miles where they hoped to recover the wreckage on Sunday.

Mr Mearns is working alongside an 80-metre-long ship called the Geo Ocean III, brought in by the UK's Air Accident Investigation Branch. The pinpointed area is where the plane was last picked up on radar, about 24 nautical miles north of Guernsey.

Seats from the plane were recovered from a French beach last week, according to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

The official search for the missing footballer was called off on Thursday against his family's wishes. Since then, a privately funded search has been scouring the Channel.

The light aircraft piloted by Briton David Ibbotson went missing on January 21 while flying from French city Nantes to Cardiff, were the Argentina-born striker was to join up with his new teammates after a £15 million (Dh72.1m) transfer to play in the English Premier League.

The aircraft was last reported flying north of Guernsey in the Channel Islands. The two cushions were found near the town of Surtainville, on the French coastline closest to the islands.

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Read more:

Seat cushions found from missing footballer's plane

Players scared to fly after Emiliano Sala disappearance, says Cardiff captain Sol Bamba

Updated: February 3, 2019 03:47 PM

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