University of Western Australia - Professor of Coastal Oceanography Charitha Pattiaratchi, who is playing a leading role on the Australian side, which is engaging in finding the missing Malaysian Airline, said that the ill-fated plane is in the bottom of the Indian Ocean, just below the Southeast Indian ridge.
He also said that any attempt to recover items from a patch of ocean where the search for items potentially from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is focused, could take months or years.
In an interview with out sister paper Ada, explaining about what happened to the plane, the Sri Lankan born Prof. Pattiaratchi said: “there was a fault which cut the oxygen to the plane and all occupants lost consciousness.”
Excerpt is the full interview:
You are a highly respected professor. Our readers would like to know the benefits of your specialised area/background
I was educated at Royal College, was also the Head Prefect in 1976, was the Sri Lankan swimming champion etc. I am a Physical Oceanographer.
In your view what has happened to the plane MH370?
There was a fault which cut the oxygen to the plane and all the occupants lost consciousness
Have you come across similar incidents in your distinguished career? (a plane crashing into the ocean or any other incident)
Yes – many times – the last time was to help locate the origin of a severed human head which was washed-up on the beach.
If the plane had crashed into the ocean where it is now?
It is in the bottom of the ocean at the location shown in the attached map.
How long will it take to find it?
Depends on luck – but it may take years.
What's the technology that can be used to find the plane? Will the black box give any significant information as to what happened?
Acoustic methods to find the location of the wreck site which is 3.5km at the bottom of the ocean. The black box is only one part of the mystery but has valuable data.
The thinking pattern is that now the world is so developed technology-wise, however, no one was able to say anything about the plane for nearly 3 weeks. What do you think about it?
It is only after a disaster before authorities act. For example, it took the Indian Ocean Tsunami before they set-up the warning system. It was the same in here, it took several tsunamis before they set-up a warning system. I think the way they track aircraft and record data on airplane operational data (e.g. those recorded by the black box) will change significantly.
Are you getting involved in the process of finding the plane?
It is coordinated by the Australian Government Agencies.
We have heard that you got involved in helping Sri Lanka in 2004 Tsunami. Could you let us know the details.
The last time I was in the media was during the 2004 tsunami – I did a lot of media work as I said before. I was then part of the team – representing Sri Lanka – which developed the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System. When there is a large earthquake in the Indian Ocean – I usually get a phone call from the Presidents’ Office to inquire its importance to Sri Lanka. So I do tsunami predictions for Sri Lan (Shamila Perera for ADA)