The family of missing Argentine soccer player Emiliano Sala is in the Channel Islands to oversee a private search of the plane that disappeared last week.
An official search-and-rescue operation for the light aircraft carrying Sala and pilot David Ibbotson was called off on Thursday. The flight was going from the French city of Nantes to Cardiff, where Sala was set to play in the Premier League.
More than 300,000 euros ($340,000) have been raised online to allow Sala's family to fund a private search around the Channel Islands. Argentine soccer greats Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona were among those making pleas to resume a search.
David Mearns, an American-born marine scientist who is based in southeast England, is helping with the private search.
Mearns said Sala's family is ''looking at this as a missing person, a missing plane and until they are satisfied, that's the mode that we are in.''
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