06:03 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Football player Emiliano Sala

    Cardiff Striker Sala Feared Dead as Missing Plane Search Postponed - Reports

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    After searching for more than 11,500sq miles (29,784 sq kilometres) of water around the Channel Islands of Alderney and Guernsey, British and French maritime authorities called off their rescue operation on Tuesday evening, local media reported, citing Guernsey Police.

    Emiliano Sala, Cardiff's new Argentine striker, is feared dead after officials confirmed the cancellation of search operations for the missing plane.

    "During the course of the 15-hour search, which used multiple air and sea assets from the Channel Islands, UK and France, a number of floating objects have been seen in the water. We have been unable to confirm whether any of these are from the missing aircraft. We have found no signs of those on board. If they did land on the water, the chances of survival are at this stage, unfortunately, slim," said Guernsey Police on their official Facebook page.

    John Fitzgerald, the chief executive of Channel Islands Air Search, suggested that the search was no longer a rescue mission, according to reports.

    "After all this time the weather's quite cold, the water is very cold out there… I am not expecting anyone to be alive," Channel Islands Air Search chief officer John Fitzgerald told The Associated Press. "I don't think the coastguard are either. We just don't know how it disappeared at the end of yesterday."

    The police have stated that authorities will resume their search on Wednesday morning at sunrise.

    Earlier, France's civil aviation authority confirmed that the football star was on board the aircraft that went missing. Sala was recently signed by the club for a reported $23 million (£18m) and was saying goodbye to his Nantes teammates on Monday, according to a post he made on Instagram.

    On 21 January, a light aircraft travelling from Nantes in western France to Cardiff vanished from radar near the Channel Islands. According to a police statement the aircraft lost contact while flying at 2,300 feet (0.7 km).

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    Tags:
    Missing, Plane crash, plane, aircraft, Cardiff, English Channel, Nantes, United Kingdom, France