Director of emergencies, Pere Perelló (right) with ministers Catalina Cladera (public administration) and Vicenç Vidal (environment).

The sea search for the missing Air Tractor fire-fighting plane and its pilot Alfonso Alfaro is today being widened to cover Alcudia and Pollensa bays. Meanwhile, the search from the air is to extend along the whole of the Tramuntana coastline to Andratx.

Some 300 people are now involved in the search, the biggest such operation ever in the Balearics. The circumstances are unique. The government's director of emergencies, Pere Perelló, said yesterday that there has never been anything like this search in the Balearics. In the past twenty years there hasn't been one of this nature in the whole of Spain.

The army, the navy, the air force, the Guardia Civil, the Majorca Fire Brigade, Civil Protection, the Ibanat agency, the coastguard are all involved. In addition, the public are doing their part, a point recognised by environment minister Vicenç Vidal yesterday. He thanked the public for their help and the assistance given by different institutions, such as town halls.

The navy's minesweepers Tajo and Tambre have now arrived. They are equipped with sonar equipment that can search up to 300 metres depth.