Search Uncovers a 200 Year Old Shipwreck in Indian Ocean

By Aiswarya Lakshmi
Friday, January 15, 2016
Image by Australian Transport Safety Bureau

 A shipwreck thought to date to the nineteenth century has been discovered in the Indian Ocean by the team searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

 
The search for the plane, over an area of 46,000 square miles, is being directed by Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC).  CNN reported on Jan 13 that in December a search boat glimpsed a shipwreck that may be 200 years old. 
 
“An anomalous sonar contact was identified in the course of the underwater search, with analysis suggesting the object was likely to be man-made, probably a shipwreck,” the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, an Australian agency directing the search for MH370.
 
This is the second historic shipwreck found by the search teams, who used an autonomous underwater vehicle with high-resolution sonar to collect additional information on the target. 
 
“The Shipwreck Galleries of the Western Australian Museum have conducted a preliminary review of some sonar imagery and advised that the vessel is likely to be a steel/iron vessel dating from the turn of the nineteenth century,” according to a statement by the JACC and reported by NPR. 
 
Museum maritime archaeologist Ross Anderson said he was not able identify the name of the ship based on the image or say whether it had three or four masts, which would narrow the possibilities. He estimated it was 80 meters (260 feet) long.
 

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