Sala plane wreckage: 'There is a body there to be recovered', says investigator


The plane in the English Channel. Image: SWNS

Monday, February 4, 2019

Investigators have discovered the wreckage of a plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala in the English Channel, and they say a body is visible.

The Piper Malibu N264DB carrying the 28-year-old Cardiff City footballer and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, was found off the coast of Alderney yesterday evening - almost two weeks after it disappeared.

Marine scientist David Mearns - known as "the Shipwreck Hunter" - volunteered to help the Sala family for free after initial search and rescue efforts by a number of agencies failed.



"It's even more imperative that the plane and the body is recovered, that's exactly what the Sala family want," Mr Mearns told talkRADIO.

"They're desperate to see that the plane is recovered to they can conduct a forensic examination to determine what caused the crash, why it happened... all the more now there is a body there."



A tribute to Emiliano Sala at Liberty Stadium in Swansea. Image: Getty

Mr Mearns and his team, working in conjunction with the AAIB, found the remains of the plane within two hours of starting their search.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) confirmed on Monday that a body was visible in the wreck, which is about 67 metres deep in the Channel.

"I'm a little bit concerned, because they [the AAIB] didn't move immediately to conduct the search," Mr Mearns added.  "We did, and then they followed."