Wednesday 21 October 2020
Select a region

Deep divers to search for missing pilot

Deep divers to search for missing pilot

Tuesday 19 February 2019

Deep divers to search for missing pilot

Deep sea divers will next week begin searching for the body of missing pilot David Ibbotson, after a crowdfunding campaign secured nearly a quarter of a million in donations, it has been confirmed.

The search will be coordinated by David Mearns (pictured, right), who helped footballer Emiliano Sala family locate the missing Piper Malibu he and Mr Ibbotson had been travelling in.

Helicopter searches of the area will also be conducted, and are expected to start even earlier, according to an update from Mr Ibbotson’s daughter, Danielle.

Mr Ibbotson disappeared as he flew footballer Emiliano Sala over the Channel from Nantes to his new club Cardiff FC in late January.


Pictured: Tributes were paid to Sala at a vigil in his hometown after his body was recovered.

While the Argentine striker's body was recovered from the plane wreck discovered near Alderney, and laid to rest in a ceremony in his hometown on Friday, Mr Ibbotson’s location remains unknown.

Danielle Ibbotson set up a GoFundMe page last week, with a target of generating £300,000 to help search for and recover his body, giving him the "send-off he deserves".

Having received significant donations from footballers including Kylian Mbappé, Kalibou Koulibali and İlkay Gündoğan, as well as broadcaster Gary Lineker, the total has now hit over £247,000.

sala-piper malibu

Pictured: A Piper Malibu, the type of aircraft the pair had been flying in.

In an update on behalf of the Ibbotson family this morning, Ms Ibbotson told the campaign’s supporters: 

“Thank you all so much for your support. we are looking to have the Deep Divers start hopefully beginning of next week. We are just waiting on confirmation of dates to update you all. 

“Also we are organising the helicopter searches of the coastal areas just will be starting a lot sooner than the Deep Dive. You have all been so amazing and thank you for all your kind messages and donations.”

The news comes just days ahead of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) releasing their interim report on the accident.

Sign up to newsletter



Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.

There are no comments for this article.

To place a comment please login

You have landed on the Bailiwick Express website, however it appears you are based in . Would you like to stay on the site, or visit the site?