Recently the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has yielded an interesting discovery: a shipwreck from the early 19th century.
The search for the missing plane has been going on for almost two years. In that time, 80,000 square kilometers (nearly 31,000 square miles) of the Indian Ocean have been searched in hopes of finding the missing plane. In December search equipment picked up an unusual signal, which investigations revealed was most likely caused by a man-made object on the ocean floor. Researchers determined that it was most likely a shipwreck of some type.
Earlier this month the ship Havila Harmony was brought in so sonar pictures could be taken with the ship’s on-board remotely operated underwater vehicle. The images were shared with the Western Australia Museum-Shipwreck Galleries. The expert staff of the museum determined that the wreck was most likely from some time in the early 1800's and is made from either steel or iron.
Further investigation by Cosmos Archaeology shed more light on the wreck and they now believe it to be S.V. Inca. S.V. Inca was a barque-style ship which was last seen on March 10, 1911 when it set sail from Callao, Peru (a port to the west of Lima) bound for Sydney, Australia.
Danielle Wilkinson from Cosmos Archaeology is quoted in Daily Mail UK:
'We have searched the Australian National Shipwreck Database and believe that it could be S.V. Inca,'
The remains of the ship are at a depth of 3.7 km (12,100 ft) and according to experts may have taken from several hours to up to half a day to finally settle at that depth. News reports from the time period reveal that the Inca was sailing under the command of Captain Barrio and was overdue at port, being beaten to Sydney by a ship that departed a month earlier. The report also stated that, at the time of publication, the Inca had been at sea for 163 days.
More investigation is needed to confirm the exact identity of the ship.
This is not the first wreck searchers have found. Another shipwreck, also from the 1800's, was found in May. Because some of the wreckage was shiny, searchers originally thought they may have found debris from the airplane. It turned out to be an anchor and debris from the hull of a ship.
To date, the only bits of wreckage found from Flight 370 washed up on the shores of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean; however, the search team members have not given up hopes of a full recovery. There are still about 40,000 square kilometers of ocean yet to be searched. If the wreckage is found it will be retrieved from the ocean floor. Once the original search area has been covered, the search will come to an end unless other compelling evidence of the plane's whereabouts comes to light. Altogether there were 239 passengers and crew aboard flight 370. The families of those lost wait while the search continues in hope that answers can be found as to what caused the plane crash.