French Police have called off the search for missing footballer and pilot who disappeared from radars on Monday (January 22), in a Piper Malibu aircraft. The police confirm the chances of survival at this stage are extremely unlikely.
Since Monday there has been over 24 hours of continuous searching and 80-hours combined flying time across three planes and five helicopters. Two lifeboats have also been involved in the search with assistance from various passing ships and fishing boats.
An update from harbour master, Captain David Barker this afternoon, 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 1,700 square 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.”
The island of Burhou was searched on foot this morning, and no trace of the aircraft or those on board has been found. The team has reviewed all information available to them, as well as knowing what emergency equipment was on board the aircraft.
Mr Barker said: “This has been a very thorough and extensive search, coordinated 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.
A message from Guersey Police this morning, said: “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.”
Next of kin have been informed of this development and unless there is any development, there will be no further updates.
Photo credit: Daily Mail