'Dad, how scared am I!' Missing footballer Sala posted chilling message ahead of doomed flight

'Dad, how scared am I!' Missing footballer Sala posted chilling message ahead of doomed flight
Newly-signed Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala sent chilling WhatsApp voice messages to family saying he was 'really scared' before his plane's disappearance over the English channel, as the search resumes for the missing player.

The rescue operation for the Argentine, as well as a pilot and a third individual, resumed early Wednesday with Guernsey Police working on the presumption that either the plane has landed elsewhere but not yet made contract, or that they landed on water and are currently in the emergency life raft which was on board.

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No trace has been heard from the Piper Malibu aircraft since it disappeared from radar contact on Monday evening as Sala travelled to Cardiff from Nantes ahead of what would have been his first training session with his new club on Tuesday morning. 

Sala reportedly sent a WhatsApp voice messages to his family prior to the incident in which he appeared to suggest that he had concerns regarding the safety standard of the plane. 

"I'm on a plane that looks like it's going to fall apart," he said per Argentinian media outlet Ole.

"I’m going to Cardiff, crazy, tomorrow we already start, and in the afternoon we start training, boys, in my new team.

"Let’s see what happens, so, how are you brothers and sisters, all right? 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!"

It is not known at which point Sala sent the messages, though some have speculated that due to the calm nature of the player's voice that the plane had yet to take off when he recorded them. 

According to reports, the plane needed four attempts to successfully get off the ground.

Five aircraft and two lifeboats are involved in a search which has covered more than 1,000 square miles in an attempt to locate the three missing people. Objects have been observed floating in the water but it is not yet understood if they are related to the plane's disappearance.

John Fitzgerald, chief officer of Channel Islands Air Search, has warned to prepare for the worst with regard to the search.

"Sadly, I really don't think, personally, there is any hope," he said.

"I think even the most fit person if they are in the water would not last longer more than a very few hours. At this time of year the conditions out there are pretty horrendous if you are actually in the water."

A large gathering of fans gathered in Nantes to celebrate the player who scored 48 goals in four seasons with the French club, while Cardiff City chairman Mehmet Dalman said that players and fans were "in state of shock."

Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri, who coached Sala during his spell in France last season, paid tribute to a player he called a "fighter" and a "wonderful character".

"He's a fantastic footballer who always gave his best when we worked together in France," the former Leicester and Chelsea boss said.

"Like everyone else, I was devastated to hear the news this morning that Emiliano was on board the aircraft. Emiliano is a wonderful character. Knowing him as a person, he's a fighter."

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