Discovery of shipwreck heightens hopes of finding MH370

Discovery of shipwreck heightens hopes of finding MH370
Operators aboard the Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield move the U.S. Navy's Bluefin 21 autonomous underwater vehicle into position for deployment in the Southern Indian Ocean, as the search continues for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, in this file handout picture taken April 14, 2014.

PUTRAJAYA - The discovery of a shipwreck in the course of searching for missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 is proof that the equipment used is able to detect the aircraft if its on the seabed.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the discovery of the shipwreck by search vessel Fugro Equator's deep tow system meant that the search mission was equipped with state of the art machinery.

"If (there is) anything in the seabed, definitely we can find the wreckage because the equipment (Furgo Equator) is very sensitive.

"It has recorded the composition of the seafloor in water depths of up to 6,000 metres," Liow told a press conference.

Furgo Equator, one of the ships tasked with looking for the aircraft, has detected 'a clutter of small sonar contacts', according to an update from Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC).

It has found a previously uncharted shipwreck almost 13,000 feet below the surface of the Indian Ocean.

Liow said the search area for MH370 in the Indian Ocean would be expanded by another 60,000 sq km, if no discovery was made by end of this month.

"As we promised, we will continue to search for the wreckage within 60,000 sq km. That is committed by the tripartite nations - Malaysia, China and Australia.

"We will look into it (the new discovery) because we are still actively involved in searching for MH370," he added.

Bernama reported Department of Civil Aviation director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman as saying that the discovery proved the equipment being used to detect whatever wreckage was good and sophisticated.

"We are very positive (of locating MH370) because the equipment has proven it can detect anything on the seabed," he noted.

Flight MH370 with 239 people on board vanished from the radar about an hour after taking off from the KL International Airport to Beijing.

On Jan 29 this year, the Malaysian Government declared the loss of the aircraft as an accident under the international aviation regulations and said all 239 passengers and crew were presumed to have died. - Bernama

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