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Ship-related wreckage found by the MH370 searchers
Ship-related wreckage found by the MH370 searchers
Image: Australian Transport Safety Bureau

"Fascinating ... But it's not what we were looking for": Shipwreck found in search for MH370

“Obviously, we’re disappointed that it wasn’t the aircraft, but we were always realistic about the likelihood.”
May 13th 2015, 11:05 AM 22,278 24

THE HUNT FOR missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has uncovered a previously uncharted shipwreck deep underwater – leading officials to say that if the plane is in their search zone they will find it.

The Australian-led team is scouring the southern Indian Ocean seabed in hope of finding the final resting place of MH370, which vanished on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

No wreckage from the flight, which was carrying 239 people, has ever been found in one of aviation’s greatest mysteries.

In a search update, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said it spotted “multiple small bright reflections” on the otherwise featureless seabed which warranted closer inspection.

Data from a high-resolution sonar scan using an autonomous underwater vehicle revealed spots worth probing, mostly about the size of a cricket ball but some larger, at 3,900 metres down.

While the objects appeared to be of man-made origin, they failed to have all the characteristics of a typical aircraft debris field so authorities sent in an underwater camera which discovered the shipwreck.

“It’s a fascinating find,” said Peter Foley, director of the operational search for MH370. “But it’s not what were looking for.”

Images clearly showed an anchor, along with other objects the searchers said were man-made as well as what are thought to be lumps of coal.

“Obviously, we’re disappointed that it wasn’t the aircraft, but we were always realistic about the likelihood,” added Foley in a statement.

“And this event has really demonstrated that the systems, people and the equipment involved in the search are working well. It’s shown that if there’s a debris field in the search area, we’ll find it.”

 © AFP, 2015

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