St.Petersburg was contacted by Australian authorities on the way from South Africa to Australia and received a request to change course to a defined area, said officials of the shipping company Höegh Autoliners to VG. “The ship was en route from South Africa to Perth in Australia and was asked to go further south in the Indian Ocean to the current exploration area,” said Olav Sollie, vice president of communications of Höegh Autoliners. “Our mission is to be the eyes and ears in the area and to look for things in the water. We are doing this from the ship with our crews using binoculars and radars. This is coordinated with the Australian authorities and aircraft in the area.”
The public became aware of the information on Thursday. Australian officials reported they found objects having chances to be pieces of debris floating about 1,000 miles off the coast of Australia from satellite images. John Young, general manager of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, described them as “of reasonable size and probably awash with water,” at a press conference in Canberra, Australia’s capital, on Thursday. He believed “This is a lead, it’s probably the best lead we have right now.” The image was taken on 16th of March. It is not clear why information didn’t come out until 20th.
Digital Globe, a satellite image company from the US confirmed that it gave the images to Australia officials, according to Associated Press. Digital Globe has appeared in public view recently through a crowd sourcing program called Tomnod, which invites every single person who has access to internet to scan the satellite images to find the missing plane. Imagery of the southern Indian Ocean has been added to its website Friday morning.
Ingar Skiaker , CEO of Höegh informs VG Friday morning that the ship is in the same waters as yesterday , and it continues the search. No findings have been reported from either the ship or the Australian authority. Australia’s deputy prime minister said the suspected debris may have sunk, reported CBC. It is not known yet how long St Petersburg will keep with the search. ” Now we do the search because the ship was the first close when the observations of the objects were made . A military ship, however, will have greater relevance in the search, we represent only a small piece”, explains Skiaker to VG, “We have customers waiting for delivery in several places in the world… It is we who have to pay and bring the bill. There is no one to send the bill to, this is part of what you do when you’re at sea.”
According to Xinhua News, Military planes from Australia, the US and New Zealand had flown to the area, but flew back after several hours’ search due to difficult weather condition above the sea. Chinese icebreaker for Antarctic research, Snow Dragon (Xuelong), set off from Perth to the searching area at 18:21 on 21st of March (local time), but it will take at least 3 days for it to arrive. The UK will also send a ship of Royal Navy, HMS Echo, to join the search.
So far, St Petersburg is the only ship staying in the area.
00:41, 8th of March (local time) Malaysia Airlines MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing.
01:19 MH370 sent its last voice message from the plane before disappearance-” All right, good night”.
02:40 The plane disappeared without a trace from the radar.
08:11 Last signal from the aircraft was picked up by a satellite.
There are 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board. The passengers are from 13 countries and 154 of them are from China.