SYDNEY: Two shipwrecks found during the hunt for missing flight MH370 in the remote Southern Ocean have been identified as 19th century merchant vessels carrying coal, each crewed by up to 30 people.
The Malaysia Airlines plane vanished in March 2014 with 239 people on board while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
No sign of the jet was found in the area during the largest search in aviation history, which was suspended in January last year.
But the Australian-led hunt did come across two wrecks, the deepest at 3,900m.
The MH370 search was restarted in January this year in an area north of the original zone, with a private research vessel scouring the seabed commissioned by Malaysia on a “no find, no fee” basis. So far it has found nothing.
The Western Australian Museum analysed sonar and video data from the first search to determine what had been found.
“Both wrecks were in fact 19th century merchant sailing ships – one wooden and one iron – both carrying coal,” said Ross Anderson, the museum’s curator of maritime archaeology.
Cargo ships of that era likely carried crews of between 15 and 30 men, although sometimes captains travelled with their wives and children. — AFP
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