Emiliano Sala: Wreckage of missing plane is found

Cardiff City scarves and jerseys flowers and tributes to Emiliano Sala outside the club's stadium

The privately-funded operation on behalf of the Sala family was made possible after a campaign raised more than £260,000 to fund it.

Mr Mearns said on Twitter: 'Wreckage of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala and piloted by David Ibbotson was located early this morning by the FPV MORVEN.

The plane that was carrying Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala has been found, his family has been told.

An official search following the plane's disappearance was called off three days after the incident.

The search will be conducted "in close co-ordination" with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), with two vessels scouring around four square nautical miles of sea bed north of the Channel island of Guernsey.

Earlier on Sunday, players and fans at Cardiff City football club paid their respects to Sala before their match against Bournemouth.

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Before the operation began, Mearns said he had a "high confidence level" the plane was in that area but that ocean currents could have moved the wreckage.

Pilot David Ibbotson, the other man on board, was taking Sala to Cardiff where he was to start playing for his new club in the Premier League after signing from French club Nantes.

Mr Mearns said both vessels would divide the search area in half, looking for "wreckage" and a "debris field" in a depth of 60-120m (196-390ft).

Cushions, which were believed to have been from the plane, were located on a beach near Surtainville in north-western France by a walker on Monday. "We think we have got double the chance of finding something". I was all right until the final whistle went and I went on the pitch.

"It can't be helped and I thought we played well against a decent team like Bournemouth". "I can't begin to explain how hard it's been". The fans were just fantastic.

Sala's name, in the colours of his native Argentina, was also spelled out behind one of the goals as supporters held cards aloft.

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