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Relatives and friends of those on board the missing Malaysian Airline flight MH370 have issued an emotional statement asking for large entities like Boeing and other companies affected by the incident to help fund the search efforts. They pleaded with Malaysia, Australia and China, the three countries currently funding the search in the Indian Ocean to "press on and search" in the current area.
"We believe that they should not throw in the towel, close this case and simply chalk it up as an unsolvable mystery. At the very least, the relevant authorities should seriously consider going back to the drawing board and re-investigating, re-evaluating and re-starting," the statement said.
Referring to plans to "bring the curtains down on the search for MH370", the relatives, calling themselves Voice370, said that the drying up of funds for the search is "unacceptable as a basis to wind down the search."
It said the search should continue beyond 2016, highlighting the fact that the aviation industry would benefit immensely from answers that the search would yield should the debris be salvaged and studied. "Lessons learnt would help make aviation safer."
More countries should also contribute to search
It also called on the search efforts to be more broadly funded and the financial commitments of more countries be solicited It also urged "big" companies like Boeing to "come forward and contribute to the search efforts given that they are directly impacted by this incident.
"At the very least, the 14 countries whose nationals were on board MH370 owe a contribution," Noting that what it was seeking was not the norm in the industry, Voice370 said that it is not "out of place to seek non-standard initiatives and contributions from Malaysia and the international community" for an incident that has been repeatedly labelled as unprecedented.
"Countries would ultimately be helping themselves by contributing to the search," the relatives pleaded. Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss has said that it would not be cost-effective to continue the search beyond the current search area in the absence of new information.
This effectively means that the search for the missing Boeing 777 will be called off in June. The search has so far cost A$180m (£88.1m; €124.2m, $131.6m). Australia has contributed A$60m to the search costs while the Malaysian government has promised to cover the remaining A$100m and China has offered to cover the A$20m shortfall.
When contacted by IBTimes UK, Boeing in the US declined to directly respond to the request by family members for the company to contribute to the search operations. Doug Alder, the Media Relations & North America Sales Communications however said in an emailed statement: "Boeing has been serving as technical advisor to the US National Transportation Safety Board, sharing our technical expertise and analysis with investigators and supporting the ongoing search."
He continued: ""Since day one, the families and loved ones of those aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have been in our thoughts and prayers. Our goal, along with the entire global aviation community, is to find out what happened to the airplane — and why."
Search coastlines of Mozambique and Madagascar for more debris
Voice370 also went further, asking for countries with assets in the East Coast of Africa to help fund efforts to search the coastlines of Mozambique, Madagascar and the surrounding areas for debris to be collected and analysed. "
Referring to a piece of debris found off Mozambique this week which is suspected to come from a Boeing 777 aircraft, the relatives said: Debris fields, though subject to some degree of dispersal by the elements, generally tend to make landfall in close proximity." They also sought support from "naval powers" to supply search assets that allow searches closer to uninhabited/swampy portions of the coast."
In a heart rending open letter to the media, they continued: "Every time someone we know boards a flight, we pray that they are spared the fate of our loved ones." They however did not hold back. In a scathing attack at the relevant parties, they said: "It is worth remembering that we do not have any assurance from aviation authorities, manufacturers, ICAO and the like, that there will not be another MH370 scenario in future. We must find out what needs to be fixed in order to fix it, and we are nowhere near a solution."
The family members also noted that a recent ban on Lithium batteries as cargo on passenger planes and in checked in baggage, and wondered if this had anything to do with what had happened to MH370, A Remembrance Event will be held on 6 March to mark the second anniversary of the disappearance of flight MH370 "with all our loved ones on board."
MH370 China Families still maintain loved ones alive
In a separate statement, the MH370 China Families said that "a search of unprecedented scale has failed to find MH370." They blamed this on the fact that the search was based on false data. The families also reiterated their hope that their loved ones were still alive.
"We renew our call for amnesty in exchange for the return of the missing and we renew our call to all representative nations to support us," the email to IBTimes UK said.