A major break in the case of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has led to a massive search of the freezing southern waters of the Indian Ocean. An Australian satellite photo showed chunks of what could be debris from the plane. Because of the volume of satellite images that had to be sorted through, it took some time to make the discovery.
Following confirmation that the lead is genuine, an area spanning roughly 1500 miles of water is now the site of a desperate search by air and sea.
Multiple objects were observed in the satellite photo, including one thought to measure about 79 ft. The size of the items in the water is what led some to believe it's perfectly credible that these could be what is left of the missing plane.
The photo imagery was itself corroborated by other satellite photos.
A search of the area resumed on Friday in the hopes that something will be found. It is a huge area of water to cover and from the air, the search and rescue mission is especially daunting.
This area of the Indian Ocean is so remote that the search planes take four hours to arrive. The journey back to refuel takes up an additional four hours, leaving a window of just two hours to perform a comprehensive search.
The international team hunting for Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean has not found anything so far | http://t.co/cqJVWKHorf
— AJELive (@AJELive) March 21, 2014
Planes from Australia and the United States have staggered their departure times in order to cope with this.
Meanwhile numerous ships are being diverted into the area as the international community continues to cooperate in the hunt for the missing jetliner.
The first to arrive into the area was Norwegian cargo ship Höegh St. Petersburg. The massive ship joined the search on Thursday at the request of Australia.
Sailors aboard worked into the night said Erik Gierchsky, spokesman for the Norwegian Shipowners Association. He also stated the men remained on deck for many hours, using lights and binoculars to search the waters for debris.
Despite the renewed search efforts bringing some measure of optimism, authorities cautioned that it could be that the objects may not have anything to do with the missing plane and may be something else entirely. It's also possible the objects may never be found.
Family members of the missing passengers were also cautious about the lead.
Sarah Bajc, fiance of missing American passenger Philip Wood, said of the news, "It strikes me as just one more lead that may or may not come true."
Keep praying for them #Mh370 . Dont lose hope . please .
— •Cici Lim• (@CiciAnosssss) March 21, 2014
Image via YouTube