Gusty winds, showers to continue across search area for missing plane, Argentine football star

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
January 24, 2019, 12:00:57 PM EST

A plane carrying newly signed Premier League footballer Emiliano Sala went missing over the English Channel near Guernsey on Monday night.

The plane which reportedly was carrying Sala and one other person disappeared from radar around 8 p.m. local time after contacting Jersey air traffic control and requesting descent, according to the BBC News.

At the time of the disappearance, Guernsey Airport was reporting winds of 15-20 mph (24-32 km/h) with higher gusts likely. A few showers were also reported in the area around the time of last contact with the plane.

AP Sala 1/22

In this picture taken on Jan. 14, 2018, Argentine soccer player, Emiliano Sala, of the FC Nantes club, western France, gives a thumbs up during a soccer match against PSG in Nantes, France. The French civil aviation authority says Emiliano Sala was aboard a small passenger plane that went missing off the coast of the island of Guernsey. (AP Photo/David Vincent)

Search and rescue operations were immediately initiated in an attempt to locate the missing plane; however, these were suspended around 2 a.m. local time due to strong winds, rough seas and poor visibility.

Search efforts resumed at 8 a.m. local time Tuesday as conditions improved. Both HM Coastguard and Guernsey Coastguard were involved in the search and rescue operations.

Following another suspension of the search on Tuesday night, operations resumed on Wednesday morning.

No trace of the missing aircraft has been found as of midday Wednesday, according to Guernsey Police.

On Thursday morning, the decision was made to resume search efforts along coastal areas, but Guernsey Police declared the end of the search Tuesday afternoon.

John Fitzgerald, Channel Islands Airsearch chief officer, told the Associated Press “I'm not expecting anyone to be alive. I don’t think the coastguard are either. We just don’t know how it disappeared.”

Guernsey Weather Center
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Emiliano Sala signed with Cardiff last week after multiple seasons with FC Nantes. Sala reportedly met with his former teammates in Nantes on Monday before departing on the flight to Cardiff Monday evening.

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