The Maldives joined a multinational search for traces of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 over the weekend after residents reported numerous sightings of possible plane wreckage on the island. Yet while many claimed images of the debris appeared to be consistent with plane wreckage, skeptics said they also appeared to match an uncommon make of a surfboard, The South Morning China Post reported Monday.
Authorities officially offered to cooperate in the search for the missing airliner Saturday, agreeing to hand over debris to Malaysian authorities for scientific analysis. The most significant wreckage turned out to be material from resort construction, Agence France-Presse reported.
Mohamed Wafir, a resident of the Maldives, photographed debris he found washed up on a beach resort more than a month ago, which he had taken to a dump site before realizing its potential significance. It was partly his findings, shared via Facebook, that prompted many in the Maldives to claim debris from the plane may have washed up on their beaches. Police were able to recover a small piece of the debris, but some now claim that might have actually been from an aluminum honeycomb construction of some surfboards.
Authorities have urged residents to remain patient and await the results of an investigation.
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) August 9, 2015
The Maldives joined the regional search amid renewed hopes of learning what happened to the missing airliner following the discovery of a plane wing on Reunion Island, a French territory that sits some 2,000 miles southwest of the Maldives. After debris was confirmed to be from the missing airliner, Malaysian authorities notified a number of nearby governments -- the Maldives was not one -- that wreckage could have washed ashore in their countries.
The missing airliner went off-route March 8, 2014, and prompted a massive regional search. There were reports of debris sightings immediately after the plane went missing, but wreckage found a few weeks ago on Reunion Island have so far turned out to be the only authentic traces of the plane. Some experts have cast doubt that debris from MH370 could have made it to the Maldives, noting that with the local wind patterns it would not have been possible for wreckage to end up on both Reunion Island and the Maldives.