Author Topic: How long should they search?  (Read 6423 times)

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Offline Ziel

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How long should they search?
« on: April 25, 2014, 06:51:12 pm »
This topic is pretty much inspired by the ongoing search for flight MH370 (I assume at this point most people are familiar with the story).

In short, do you think that searches for wreckage in situations like this should be called off at some point? Or do you think they should tirelessly search until they can figure out with certainty what happened?  Basically, the search is at the point where the equipment they have at hand is not finding anything. They haven't seen any debris or anything. And they're just at their best guess for the location where the plane went down. There's no actual certainty that they're looking in the right place. At all. New estimates are that it could take a year or more to find it at this point.

I realize that there's some kind of need for closure for the families. But, I've lately been wondering if the drawn out search riddled with various leads that turned out to be nothing is actually making it even harder for the families to get past this and continue with their lives.

I talked with my family about this over the weekend, and they kinda gave me some strange looks. I think they thought I was heartless for saying they should just stop searching and that the families should just accept their losses and move on. What do you think?

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Offline Mylo

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Re: How long should they search?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2014, 11:47:33 pm »
Just a thought: think of how long they searched for the Titanic.  I'm not really giving that as a reason for anything aside from the fact that eventually it was found.  Of course, I think they had a better idea of where it was.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 11:49:44 pm by Mylo »

Offline Ziel

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Re: How long should they search?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2014, 11:37:11 am »
That actually does bring up an interesting point of contrast that may be worth exploring. There are a couple things in particular that come to mind.

With the Titanic, there were survivors. There was another ship close enough to help out. The location of the wreckage was very well known. However, they didn't have the technology available today. If the Titanic disaster were to happen today, there would be very well-known GPS coordinates for the location where it went down. we'd have the equipment necessary to search the ocean floor and find it. All this together, it probably would have been found and explored in a matter of a week or so.

Also, with the Titanic, I think there was a little more closure to the story because so much was known. Survivors could give their accounts of what happened. The fate of the ship was known. If somebody didn't make it back with the survivors, they could be pretty well presumed dead. I wholeheartedly believe that MH370 did go down in the ocean somewhere, and that there's no way there would be any survivors left. The only way to have any idea of the story and know for sure that it did crash into the ocean, is to find the wreckage and recover whatever data they can.

Finally, I almost wonder how much of the difference today vs. back then has to do with the internet and highly-accessible news and information about all the small details of the search. Families have been on an emotional roller-coaster, because they get their hopes up about some piece of debris that is seen in the ocean near where they are searching. But so far, it has only ended in disappointment because none of these things end up actually related to the plane. Now, I think some of this disappointment is their own fault. They should be more skeptical/realistic about how slim the chances are that any of these things are actually related at all. But I think some of this is also due to the media and the availability of a vast amount of information. 50 years ago, we wouldn't be hearing about every last piece of floating junk they find in the water and such.

I want to know why they're still searching. Who really stands to benefit? My family was saying that there's just a human need to know with things like this. If you look at the things about the flight that we do know, it isn't difficult to conclude that the plane did, in fact, go down into the ocean somewhere. And if that happened, the chances of any survivors still existing are basically zero at this point. It's unfortunate, yes, but people should just accept it and move on. But the only way for that to happen is for the search to be officially called off and for the media to just leave it be.

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Offline Mylo

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Re: How long should they search?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2014, 07:26:44 pm »
I think another part of it as well is that they want to find out how it went down.

Offline Alsek

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Re: How long should they search?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2014, 11:32:32 pm »
When you still have reasonable leads you still keep searching and following those leads.  If you're just picking random spots on the map and going, "Let's try here.  We haven't looked here yet." It's gone too far.

Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: How long should they search?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2014, 10:07:51 am »
It's unfortuante, but some things like this are never solved. There have
been boats and planes lost and never found in the past. It's probable that
people feel "We can go to mars, but we can't find a plane?"  Many people
likely don't really understand how difficult it really is to search the ocean floor.
Especially when it's three miles or more deep.

Then there is the fact no evidence of a crash has been found. That would
keep most families hoping, at least it would me. Perhaps any one or country
acquiring or selling a plane of this kind should be investigated for a time. The
plane checked too.

Perhaps it's worth paying a private company to persue the search over a long
period of time, but people will likely have to accept the loss eventually.

It's likely if say a boat with six or less people on board was lost. Would they
have searched this long? Probably not more than a week. I doubt if it would be
more. It has always seemed interesting that the more people are involved in a
loss the more interest others have in it.

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Offline Yip

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Re: How long should they search?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2014, 05:39:06 am »
It's probable that
people feel "We can go to mars, but we can't find a plane?"  Many people
likely don't really understand how difficult it really is to search the ocean floor.
Especially when it's three miles or more deep.
Yes, we know a lot more about the vast space above then we do the depths below.