LONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 19 – A search for the pilot of a plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala which crashed in the Channel last month is set to resume next week, his family said on Tuesday.
David Ibbotson’s family said on a crowdfunding page to raise money for the search that divers would begin looking for the body “hopefully beginning of next week”.
The fundraising page, which has so far raised nearly £250,000 (287,000 euros, $327,000), said there would also be “helicopter searches of the coastal areas”.
The small aircraft, which was carrying the Cardiff City striker from his former club Nantes in France to Britain, disappeared from radar on January 21.
Sala’s body was recovered on February 7 from the submerged wreck of the plane and his funeral was held on Saturday in his home town of Progreso in Argentina.
The plane was located by a shipwreck hunting company, Blue Water Recoveries, hired by Sala’s family thanks to crowdfunding after a search for the plane was suspended.
Ibbotson’s body was never found and investigators said they suspended the search because of bad weather.
David Mearns, director of Blue Water Recoveries, said on Tuesday that he had been assisting Ibbotson’s family.
“This search is technically very different to the underwater search for the Piper Malibu aircraft. It is dependent on good weather, neap tides and flight permits.
“The ‘search’ will include a dive to the wreck to rule out 100% that David’s body is there and a helicopter search of inaccessible coastal areas in the Channel Islands using trained pilots and observers,” he wrote.