1. ITV Report

Sala family 'determined to get answers' as plans announced for underwater search

Credit: PA

The family of missing Emiliano Sala are "determined to get answers that they don't have" as plans for an underwater search for the striker's plane are announced.

Friends and relatives of the footballer, including his mother, Mercedes, and sister, Romina, took a flight from Guernsey on Monday morning over the area where the missing plane is thought to have gone down.

A privately funded search for the Cardiff City striker got underway today.

Speaking on behalf of the family, David Mearns, who specialises in deep water recoveries, said the only way to "get answers" was to find the missing plane.

With Sala's sisters and mother beside him, Mr Mearns told reporters at Guernsey Airport an underwater search for the missing plane would begin on Sunday 3 February weather dependent.

More than £290,000 has been raised to fund the operation almost a week after the striker and the pilot he was traveling with went missing over the English Channel.

An official search was called off on Thursday after the plane he was travelling in disappeared over the English Channel. The pilot David Ibbotson was also on board.

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David Mearns speaking on behalf of the Sala family at Guernsey airport.

Relatives and friends of the Argentinian striked arrived in Guernsey on Sunday. Speaking on behalf of the family, David Mearns said:

"The family still have some hope, they're looking at this as a missing person, a missing plane, and until they are satisfied, that's the mode that we're in."

Mr Mearns is understood to be assisting the family in the private search, he added there could be "more investigative technical searches underwater.|

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Pleas for the search to resume were led by the Argentinian's family as well as football stars Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and the country's president Mauricio Macri.

The Go Fund Me page, which was launched earlier this week, now totals more than £290,000.

Two Guernsey based fishing boats have begun searching the area in the English Channel where the plane initially lost contact with the radar.

Credit: PA

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Hundreds of flowers and scarves have been laid outside Cardiff City's stadium in tribute to the striker.

Cardiff signed 28-year-old Sala for a club-record £15million to bolster their attack and he had been due to start training last week.

Rescue teams have already scanned around 1,700 square miles and examined mobile phone data and satellite imagery but found no trace of the aircraft.

Three planes and five helicopters racked up 80 hours combined flying time looking for the plane, working alongside two lifeboats and other passing ships - before the official search was called off.

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