The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has yielded yet another shipwreck, as search vessels continue to drag detection devices across the Indian Ocean.
While the MH370, the Boeing 777 that mysteriously disappeared in March 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, continues to remain a baffling mystery even after almost two years of relentless search, the vessels that are searching the Indian Ocean have uncovered another shipwreck. The undersea search for the Malaysian airliner’s plane that went missing about two years back found a second 19th century shipwreck deep in the Indian Ocean off the west Australian coast, reported Local 15 TV. One of the ships had found a similar shipwreck in the month of May last year. The second shipwreck was discovered in December.
The boats continue to comb the area where the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is suspected to have gone down. Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), the Australian agency directing the search for MH370, has confirmed that to date, it has combed through roughly two-thirds of the target area, but has failed to find conclusive evidence about the missing plane or its wreckage. However, the search has turned up a second shipwreck in December, when a boat picked up a very different note on its sonar,
“An anomalous sonar contact was identified in the course of the underwater search, with analysis suggesting the object was likely to be man-made, probably a shipwreck.”
To conduct extensive analysis of the area, searchers called another boat, Havila Harmony. The second boat is equipped with one of the most sophisticated sonars that can map the ocean’s surface in great detail. Using the sonar on board an autonomous underwater vehicle, Havila Harmony managed to create a detailed 3D image of the shipwreck. The ship had been lying on the ocean floor at the depth of 3.7 kilometers (12,100 feet) deep. The shipwreck was located 2,600 kilometers (1,600 miles) southwest of the Australian port of Fremantle where the three search vessels are based.
When presented to experts at the Shipwreck Galleries of the Western Australian Museum, it was confirmed that the ship was mostly likely an ocean-faring vessel that traversed the seas during the early 19th century. The ship is most likely made of good quality steel or iron. Experts haven’t been able to identify the ship, but given time, the identity of the vessel might become known.
The ships searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had come across a similar shipwreck in May last year when sonar imagery turned an anchor, along with other objects, reported Economic Times. High resolution images revealed parts of a destroyed hull at a depth of 3,900 meters (12,795 feet). This shipwreck piqued the interest of searchers, who suspected the shinier bits could belong to MH370, reported CNN.
The only debris that confirmed the plane crashed was discovered in July. Washed up on France’s Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, was a flaperon. A series of numbers printed on the component matched records held by a Spanish company that manufactured portions of the component, reported Arkansas Matters.
So far, the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history. Searchers haven’t given up hope, but are quickly running out of ground to search. Multiple boats, dragging advanced detection equipment, have so far combed through 80,000 square kilometers (nearly 31,000 square miles) of the Indian Ocean seafloor in the hopes of finding the missing plane. That’s roughly two-thirds of the 120,000 square kilometers that the searchers had planned to cover. The search should be completed by June, if not sonner.
If the wreckage of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is found, it will certainly be recovered, but if it is not found, the governments have jointly agreed the search will be called off.
[Photo by JACC/Getty Images]