Search For Emiliano Sala To Resume After £130,000 Raised On GoFundMe

The search for Emiliano Sala is set to resume after a fundraiser was set up on GoFundMe to finance a private rescue mission.

Some of the biggest names in football have come out in support of resuming the search, which was indefinitely called off on Thursday. At the time of writing, more than €150,000 (£130,000) of the fundraiser's €300,000 (£260,000) target has been reached.

Writing on Instagram, Lionel Messi said: "While there is possibility, even a shred of hope, we ask don't stop searching.

"All my strength and support to his family and friends."

The fundraiser was set up by French football agency Sport Cover, while a petition launched in France has gathered more than 80,000 signatures, according to the Sun.

You can donate here.

Speaking following the announcement that the search for 28-year-old Sala and pilot David Ibbotson had been called off, Harbour Master Captain David Barker said chances of survival were 'extremely remote'.

He said: "My team have just met to review the search and rescue operation which has been underway since the plane disappeared on Monday night.

"Despite the best efforts of air and search assets from the Channel Islands, UK and France, which has covered an area of approximately 1,700sq. miles - with a significant amount of this searched more than once - and having examined mobile phone data and satellite imagery, we have been unable to find any trace of the aircraft, the pilot or the passenger.

Cardiff City fans have paid tribute to Sala. Credit: PA
Cardiff City fans have paid tribute to Sala. Credit: PA

"There has been over 24 hours of continuous searching, with 80 hours combined flying time across three planes and five helicopters. Two lifeboats have also been involved, as well as assistance from various passing ships and fishing boats.

"We reviewed all the information available to us, as well as knowing what emergency equipment was on board, and have taken the difficult decision to end the search.

"The chances of survival at this stage are extremely remote.

"Next of kin have been informed of this development, and my thoughts go out to the family of the pilot and passenger at this most difficult of times.

"This has been a very thorough and extensive search, co-ordinated from the Guernsey-based Joint Emergency Services Control Centre and has seen exemplary co-operation from all countries involved, for which I would like to extend my personal thanks.

"The final aircraft searching for the missing plane and those on board has now landed. Although we are no longer actively searching, the incident remains open and we will be broadcasting to all vessels and aircraft in the area to keep a look out for any trace of the aircraft. This will continue indefinitely."

Featured Image Credit: Cardiff City

Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University before going to live in Australia and New Zealand for a few years, where he wrote a travel blog. He has previously written for the Eastern Daily Press, Giggle Beats, CALM and Front Magazine. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.

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