The drone of the RAAF aircraft across the dark sky announces the start of a new day. Like an eager bee out to collect its pollen stash, this plane has purpose. The days are getting shorter so the sun hasn’t risen in time to guide the way. But waiting for it would waste precious moments and it won’t be long before its long rays join the search anyway.
Even if all hope is lost of finding survivors, it is a race against time to find the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and salvage some answers. Suddenly the focus of this mystery has turned to the Indian Ocean south west of Perth, Western Australia. It is a hostile and unforgiving expanse of water. The isolation almost spurs the search on as searchers fight to retrieve victims from this lonely, watery desert.
It was as though international media had never considered there was such a pocket of isolation left in the world. They could barely fathom a city could exist nearby, even if it is 2500km away. It was a struggle to pinpoint Perth on a map. Like playing pin the tail on the donkey with a blindfold, Perth landed hundreds of kilometres north of its actual location.
Once the coordinates were correctly established, the spotlight amplified on Perth with the base for the eagle-eyed pilots and their aircraft growing ever bigger at the RAAF Base Pearce. The attention will only swell with the expectation that many of the devastated families will arrive to await news on their relatives’ fate. Being physically closer to their temporary resting place could only bring minimal solace, but it’s something in a whole lot of nothing.
Perth is enjoying it’s usual extended summertime blending into autumn, still bathed in sunshine. Yet the stunning warm weather can only bring cold comfort to those families searching for answers they may never find.
As the war planes return each evening from the battles against rough seas and fierce weather there is an air of anticipation. Is there any news? What has been discovered? So far, very little.
For the time being the drones will continue each morning and evening. When the battle will be over is unknown. All that is known is that there are no survivors of the wreckage, only those who must survive without their loved ones.