The hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 should have continued after Australian authorities deemed it “highly likely” the airliner lay to the north of the official search area, shipwreck hunter David Mearns says.
The search was suspended in January despite the Australian Transport Safety Bureau saying the Boeing 777 could be within a 25,000 square kilometre area to the north of the thoroughly-combed 120,000 square kilometre search zone.
Mearns, who discovered the wreck of HMAS Sydney, said he believed MH370 could and should be found, and hoped the search would be resumed.
“We don’t know what happened to that plane . . . and it cannot be allowed to stand that a major airliner crashes and we forget about it,” he told ABC radio yesterday.
“If you haven’t found it, the most important thing to know is where it is not and rule that out 100%. It allows you to move on to high probability areas.”
ATSB chief commissioner Greg Hood said after the final search vessel returned to port that the agency would have liked to continue looking but the decision to suspend was made by the Malaysian, Australian and Chinese governments.
Malaysian transport minister Dato Sri Liow Tiong said at the time that the new zone identified by the ATSB was not enough to go on and it was hoped debris drift modelling would help narrow the plane’s location.
The Boeing 777 disappeared on the way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 with 239 people aboard. AAP