Family of Emiliano Sala’s pilot raise funds to resume search for his body

The family of a pilot who remains missing after a plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala crashed have set up a fundraising page to restart the search for his body.

Saturday, 9th February 2019, 11:31 am
Updated Saturday, 9th February 2019, 11:37 am
David Ibbotson

Sala’s body was recovered and formally identified earlier this week after a privately-funded search team found the plane’s wreckage in the English Channel, off the coast of Alderney.

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But David Ibbotson, from Crowle, who was lying Sala to the UK to join Cardiff City, has not been found.

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A fundraising page set up has so far raised more than £33,000 to help find him.

A message on the page said: “Please help bring David Ibbotson home and help give him the send off he deserves.

“As a family we are relying on the kindness of the good-hearted people to help us raise the much-needed funds to help us find our beloved dad, husband and son.

“As a family we are trying to come to terms with the tragedy and the loss of two incredible men.

“To be told the search has now been called off for the foreseeable future has only made this tragic time more difficult.

“We cannot bare the thought of him being alone – we need him home so that we are able to lay him to rest.”

Sala was on his way to join Cardiff City from Nantes when the plane crashed 21 miles (34km) off the coast of Guernsey on January 21.

The light aircraft, which was found in a privately-funded search, remains underwater.

In a statement, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said on Wednesday that poor weather conditions led to a ‘difficult decision was taken to bring the overall operation to a close’.


For more information on the appeal or to donate visit