The search for missing Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala resumed Thursday in the English Channel, as authorities tried to locate the plane Sala had been traveling in before it vanished.
The light aircraft with the 28-year-old striker and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, on board disappeared from radar Monday night near Guernsey in the Channel Islands off the coast of France. Authorities have said they don’t expect to find any survivors.
Guernsey Police said Thursday they were starting a coastal search of the islands, as well as the north coast of France, the islands and rocks surrounding Guernsey, according to the Guardian.
Sala, who played professionally for French club FC Nantes before signing with Cardiff in England’s Premier League, reportedly sent a cryptic voicemail message to his father saying he was afraid the plane was failing, the report said.
“I’m here on a plane that looks like it’s about to fall apart, and I’m going to Cardiff … If in an hour and a half you have no news from me, I don’t know if they are going to send someone to look for me because they cannot find me, but you know … Dad, how scared am I!” Sala is believed to have said.
John Fitzgerald, chief officer of Channel Islands Air Search, told the BBC on Wednesday that “even the most fit person” could only survive a couple of hours in the water at this time of year.
“Sadly, I really don’t think, personally, there is any hope,” he said. “At this time of the year, the conditions out there are pretty horrendous if you are actually in the water.”
Sala signed with Cardiff on Saturday for a club-record fee, reported to be $19 million. He was on his way to Wales after saying goodbye to his Nantes teammates in France on Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.