According to the latest reports, the bodies of up to 90 passengers who took AirAsia flight QZ8501 are still trapped on the seabed of the Java Sea, out of the reach of rescue teams who have been unable to recover them.
Despite numerous brave attempts by members of the Indonesian military to raise the fuselage from the seabed, they have been unsuccessful, mainly due to equipment failures, bad weather, and some plain old bad luck.
The head of the navy's western fleet, Rear Admiral Widodo, told reporters that no more attempts will be made to raise the fuselage, saying, "We apologize to the families. We tried our best."
Therefore, the estimated 90 bodies on AirAsia Flight QZ8501 will remain at the bottom of the sea in a massive "water grave."
In total, 162 people were on the ill-fated flight, which took off from Indonesia's Surabaya airport for Singapore on December 28. Only 70 bodies have been recovered, either from the surface or from among other pieces of wreckage on the sea bed.
In the past week, many hoped that trained divers might have been able to recover the main part of the aircraft, but a variety of circumstances have made it impossible to lift the fuselage or recover the bodies at the present time.
Salvage teams have tried using massive inflatable bags to float the fuselage to the surface of the water, but even though teams were almost successful, a sling holding the wreckage snapped and it plunged back down to the sea bed.
For the time being, investigators are studying the black boxes from AirAsia Flight QZ8501 in order to ascertain precisely what caused the plane to crash into the sea, which resulted in the deaths of 162 people.
There has been no immediate response from families following the decision to abandon the recovery efforts, but there's little doubt that family members are more than a little upset that they won't be able to give their relatives a proper burial.