Missing MH370: Fishermen could come across debris of wreckage first

This aerial picture taken from aboard a Vietnamese Air Force Russian-made MI-171 helicopter shows an Air Force officer looking down at ships sailing below from a door during a search flight some 200 km over the southern Vietnamese water off Vietnam's island Phu Quoc on March 11, 2014 as part of continued efforts aimed at finding traces of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370.

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - If the missing MAS flight MH370 crashed into the sea, there is a high probability that a fisherman might come across debris or wreckage before anyone else.

Former Malaysian Maritime Search and Rescue department head Datuk Capt Jaffar Lamri said it was good that the authorities had engaged the marine communities.

"It is their playground and they know the water very well. They are everywhere and there is a high probability that they may pick up any debris," he said.

Kuala Kedah fishermen were using sonar devices available on their boats on Tuesday to help detect the MAS aircraft.

More than 30 fishing boats operating in zones C and C2 of the Straits of Malacca off Kedah and Perlis have been asked to help detect the MAS aircraft.

In Feb 1983, the crashed jet of Sri Lankan tycoon Upali Wijewardena was found by a fisherman in the Andaman Sea a few months after it crashed.

The private jet was bound for Colombo, Sri Lanka from Kuala Lumpur.

Jaffar said that now that fishermen were engaged directly, they would be more vigilant during the course of work.

"Their inclusion is very vital to increase the probability of finding the plane," said Jaffar.

The Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, disappeared about an hour after taking off from the KL International Airport at 12.41am on Saturday.

It was scheduled to have landed in Beijing at 6.30am on the same day.