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Possible debris found in roughest part of the world
Published:  Mar 20, 2014 3:29 AM
Updated: 10:24 AM

MH370 The new satellite images have provided a fresh lead into the disappearance of MH370, but there could be other obstacles to the search and rescue mission.

According to an Australian oceanographer, the debris spotted off the coast Perth is floating in the roughest part of the world.

The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Chari Pattiaratchi, from the University of Western Australia, saying that the debris had been located close to the "Roaring Forties", where the wind created giant swells and waves.

''You may have debris at the surface but the bulk of the aircraft would be at the bottom of the ocean,'' he said. ''It's very deep down there, about 5km.

''Trying to get something out from five kilometres in the roughest part of the world is going to be extreme,'' he added.

He pointed out that if the aircraft had been in the water for more than 10 days, it would have drifted about 300 to 400km to the east toward Perth.

The debris would likely have been travelling about one nautical mile per hour, or one knot. ''If it keeps going it'll go to the south of Perth or south of Australia,'' he said.

Chari explained that the roaring forties are located 40 degrees south, where there was almost no land to slow down the winds. These create strong, high waves and swell.

The currents extend right through the water column because the area is so deep

The Sydney Morning Herald also reported that an Indonesian official said that Australia had been too quick to reveal information regarding the satellite images and the possible link to MH370.

The official, who was not named, said the authorities should have checked the debris first.

Hisham hopes for positive development

After the search and rescue mission hit numerous brick walls in locating the Beijing-bound Boeing 777, which went missing since early March 8, acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein is hoping that the satellite images will lead to a positive development.

“I can confirm we have a new lead...and I am meeting the Australian delegation now," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

He was speaking after Australia said it had sent aircraft to investigate the objects.

"As we have been doing from day one, we have been following every single lead, and this time I just hope that it is a positive development," Hishammuddin said.

"I was told that assets have been deployed to the area to verify what has already been said earlier this morning, and we are waiting for some information. It is too early to say which

area and whether it is in the sea," he said, adding he did not know what kind of possible debris was involved.

"Every lead is a hope. We want to verify, we want to corroborate," he said, adding that investigators hope to provide a further update within a few hours.

Object 24m in size

This morning, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott had revealed that satellite imagery found two objects possibly related to the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777.

Commenting on the revelation, Australian Maritime Safety Authority general manager John Young said: “The indication to me is of objects that are of reasonable size and awash with water, bobbing up and down on the surface.”

"The largest image I’ve seen is assessed as being about 24m. And a number of other images in the general area," he was quoted as saying by the Australian Sun Herald.

The objects seen on satellite radar are "possible indications of debris" about 2,500km south west of Perth, south of the search area.

Earlier, Abbot told the Australian Parliament that “new and credible information had come to light in relation to the search.”

"The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search."

Abbott said aircraft were en route to the area where the objects were found.

"Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified."  

Abbott said he had already spoken with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Abdul Razak and cautioned that the objects had yet to be identified.

"The task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult and it may turn out they are not related to the search for MH370," he added.

The Australian Herald Sun reported that a Royal Australian Air Force aircraft arrived at the area just before 2pm (AEDT) and three more military aircraft, including two from the United States and New Zealand, are expected to reach the area later.

A merchant ship that responded to a shipping broadcast issued by Rescue Coordination Australia is expected to arrive in the area about 6pm (AEDT). Whereas the New Zealand aircraft should be on scene at 8pm.

Weather conditions are moderate, according to the report, but poor visibility has been reported and will hamper the search. The objects may be difficult to locate and may not be linked to the search.