Now that Australia has asked a Norwegian Autoliner to help them probe in the remote Southern Indian Ocean where a satellite spotted two objects bobbing in the water, we get an insight into the challenges that await.
The spots have been located 2,500 kilometers southwest of Perth, which is little traversed by the maritime traffic. When alerts went out to the ships, they were 2 days away from the spot.
Oceanographers and scientists fear that high waves and tumultous weather can also drift the remnants further away.
"Very harsh conditions, once you get there the influence of Antarctica... starts to come clearly on the ocean," said Erik van Sebille, an oceanographer at Sydney's University of New South Wales. He also added that even in calm conditions, the place is challenging and with the autum setting in the Southern Hemisphere, the condition tends to deteriorate.
"It's not an area where you would like to be for a very long time, to spend weeks searching for a plane," he said.
Given that this sector is the windiest and has high waves, the debris might have drifted from the site of crash by 1000 miles already.
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott cautioned against presuming the floating objects to be debris from the missing plane. "It could just be a container that has fallen off a ship, we just don't know," he said.
However, Van Sebille said,"It's a pretty pristine part of the ocean which indeed means that if this is debris... it's highly likely either from the plane or it comes from some ship in the ocean itself, and there's not a lot of shipping going on."