PETALING JAYA - A leading shipwreck hunter believes the recovery of the black boxes from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is "inevitable."
The Sydney Morning Herald reported Wednesday that David Mearns told the ABC he was confident that because of their strength, the four "pings" detected last week were emitted from the black boxes.
"I think essentially they have found the wreckage site," he said.
"While the government hasn't announced that yet, if somebody asked me 'technically do they have enough information to say that?', my answer is unequivocally, yes.
"They have got four very, very good detections with the right spectrum of noise coming from them and it can't be from anything else," he told the TV station Wednesday.
According to the daily, Mearns, an American, was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his work in finding the wreckage of HMAS Sydney in 2008, 66 years after it was in the Indian Ocean during World War II.
He also helped find the wreckage of Air France flight 447 in 2011.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 jet vanished on March 8 enroute to Beijing with 239 people aboard and is believed to have ended its flight in the Indian Ocean.
A mini-sub is currently conducting a sonar survey of the ocean floor looking for wreckage.
The US Navy has estimated it would take the Bluefin-21 from six weeks to two months to scan the search zone, which has been deduced using satellite data and the detection of electronic pulses linked to black box recorders that were last heard a week ago.
The cause of the plane's disappearance, after being diverted hundreds of kilometres off course, remains a mystery. No debris has been found despite an enormous search involving ships and planes from several nations.