The Fugro Equator will be dispatched to help hunt down flight MH370 (source: Fugro) - Credit: The Fugro Equator was dispatched to help hunt down flight MH370 (source: Fugro)
Tuesday, August 4, 2015 - 17:00
Dutch recovery team “waiting” for MH370 debris confirmation.
Dutch company Fugro, involved in the search for the missing Malaysia Airline flight 370, says it is anxious to learn the origin of debris that washed up on Réunion last in July. The items found on the French island east of Madagascar includes a piece of a Boeing 777 wing, empty bottles, and luggage material. Fugro was contracted by the Australian government to search the Indian Ocean west of Perth to track down the missing aircraft, a Boeing 777. The firm, which specializes in oceanography and deep sea exploration, dispatched three ships to map the ocean floor there. “I’d like to react similar to the Australian Government,” Rob Luijnenburg said of the flaperon portion of the wing spotted on Réunion. Assuming “the airline did indeed go down in the Indian Ocean, we are excited to see what the outcome will be,” he told NL Times. The airplane went missing on March 8, 2014 after leaving for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. It is believed to have crossed back over Malaysia an hour after takeoff, then banked left, heading out over the Indian Ocean. There were 227 passengers and 12 crew members onboard, from 15 different nations. Of those on the aircraft, 152 were from China and 50 were Malaysian. Surti Dahlia, a 50-year-old from Amsterdam, was the lone Dutch person on the aircraft that day. Over six thousand kilometers of ocean separates Perth and Réunion. Fugro will continue to search the area dictated by the Australian government, which remains the oceanic area west of Perth for the time being. Fugro’s vessels are capable of searching up to six kilometers below sea level, and have already searched approximately 60 thousand square kilometers of water. They are contracted to continue their search roughly the equivalent area between August and March 2016, but crew members hope to find the lost plane by the end of this year. The Dutch company is currently the only company in search of the missing jet. The Fugro Equator, the Fugro Discovery and the Fugro Supporter, with a total crew of 30 people per vessel, were scouring the Indian Ocean until extreme winter conditions forced the Supporter to wait out storms in a safe area. Another 150 onshore personnel are assisting the ship crews in conducting the search. Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak posted on his Facebook page that he speculates that the recently discovered wing piece, already transported to Toulouse, France for further investigation, belongs to flight MH370. American officials reportedly said the probability of MH370 being within a few thousand kilometers Réunion is very high, considering the high amount of waste that has washed up near the island amid strong ocean currents.