Guernsey harbourmaster Captain David Barker admits that the conditions are making it impossible for the search team to make any progress and that a “difficult decision” will be made this morning
Argentinian striker Emiliano Sala and a pilot are missing after the Piper PA-46 Malibu they were on disappeared off Alderney in the Channel Islands at 20:30 (GMT) as they made their way from Nantes to Wales.
Sala had just completed a £15m transfer to Cardiff City on Saturday after an impressive start to the season at Nantes that had seen him score 12 goals in 19 Ligue 1 games.
Concerns have been growing for the pair with a coastguard rescue helicopter and the RNLI having deployed to help find them.
But the search effort has proved to be fruitless with Captain Barker admitting on Tuesday evening that the poor weather conditions could force his team into making a “very difficult decision”.
“It gets to the point where it’s impossible, even with unlimited resources to search that area,” Captain Barker told the BBC.
“The weather forecast for tomorrow is not as good as today, so we will be making a very difficult decision in the morning whether we can carry on with the search or not.”
Polanco: Crossing would have been “like flying in Antarctica in winter”
Meanwhile, an aeronautical expert claimed that Sala’s flight across the English Channel would have been the equivalent of flying in Antarctica during the winter.
Audio footage recently emerged of Sala expressing fear to his friends by informing them that the plane itself was “falling apart”.
And now Commander Jorge Polanco has shared some light on what the conditions are normally like at night during European winter while crossing the Channel.
“The Piper Malibu is an excellent single-engine aircraft, which has the capacity for seven people, but I am very surprised that they have been doing this operation flying at night, with what is the European winter at the moment,” Polanco told TyC Sports.
“It’s like flying in Antarctica in the winter with an airplane of that size, which can suffer from what is called icing, thus stopping the engine and I think something related to that has happened.”
French football fans in Nantes gathered in the early hours of this morning to pay homage to the missing Sala.
Football fans have gathered in Nantes to pay homage to Emiliano Sala 🙏
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) January 23, 2019