PM says flight MH370 an "extraordinary riddle"
AS SEARCHERS enter their third day of scouring the southern Indian Ocean, a marine expert has warned a human could not survive in those waters beyond "a few hours".
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is describing the lost Malaysia Airlines flight as an "extraordinary riddle".
The MH370 flight left Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing two weeks ago today, carrying mostly 239 passengers including six Australians.
Irene and George Burrows from Central Queensland are yet to know the fate of their son Rodney and daughter-in-law Mary who were on board.
Military jets from Australia, New Zealand and the United States spent Friday examining a huge expanse of notoriously rough and horribly cold ocean.
The search party is attempting to find chunks of debris - some up to 24m in size - picked up by satellite imaging last Sunday.
If MH370 did crash near the search area, any passenger unable to escape the water had little hope of survival.
Charitha Pattiaratchi with the University of Western Australia's Oceans Institute said the surface temperature of water in the search area, about 2500km south-west of Perth, was about 10 degrees.
Below the surface is freezing.
"It's one of the roughest patches of water in the world; you can't really get any rougher than that region," Prof Pattiaratchi said
"The survival rate in the water is probably a few hours.
Waves of between 5m and 10m are common, depending on the weather.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, speaking in Papua New Guinea on Friday, stressed the targeted debris may not be from the lost Boeing 777.
Nevertheless, the government was "throwing everything" at the search effort to find out more.
"We owe it to the families and the friends and the loved ones of the almost 240 people on flight MH370 to do everything we can to try to resolve what is as yet an extraordinary riddle.
"We also owe it to them to give them information as soon as it is at hand.'
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is helping co-ordinate the search of the Southern Ocean after satellite imagery detected debris within the search-area designated for the lost flight on Thursday.
In a press conference on Thursday, AMSA general manager John Young said the group was doing "its level best to find anyone that may have survived", assuming the images did show pieces of the lost aircraft.
From midday on Friday, two Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orions and an ultra long range Bombardier Global Express were searching the waters for the debris.
A third RAAF P3 Orion is on the way to the search area, with a United States Navy P8 Poseidon - a submarine hunting jet -due to arrive nearby at 5pm.
One ship is already in the area, another was due to arrive overnight.