British sailor claims she saw MH370 go down in flames, says paper

A British yachtswoman has claimed that she may have seen missing flight MH370 the day it disappeared while sailing across the Indian Ocean en route to Phuket, the Phuket Gazette reported on Monday.

Katherine Tee told the daily that while sailing from Cochin, India, with her husband Marc Horn, she saw what looked like a plane on fire crossing the night sky, with a plume of black smoke trailing behind it.

The 41-year-old from Liverpool, England, said she was alone on deck when the incident happened.

“I was on a night watch. My husband was asleep below deck and our one other crew member was asleep on deck,” she told the Phuket Gazette.

“I saw something that looked like a plane on fire. That’s what I thought it was. Then, I thought I must be mad… It caught my attention because I had never seen a plane with orange lights before, so I wondered what they were.

“I could see the outline of the plane. It looked longer than planes usually do. There was what appeared to be black smoke streaming from behind it.”

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 left Kuala Lumpur International Airport, bound for Beijing, on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew on board.

Satellite data showed that the flight had crashed into the southern Indian Ocean but a search involving several countries in that area has so far failed to locate the Boeing 777-200ER.

The Phuket Gazette quoted Tee as saying that she only disclosed the information after she reviewed her yacht’s log.

Horn, 50, posted data maps of the yacht’s route across the ocean on yachting website Cruisers Forum, which was then recreated by a user on the form using Google Earth.

The Phuket Gazette reported that the map showed the aircraft would have passed the yacht astern from port to starboard, just as Tee remembered it.

“This is what convinced me… to file a report with the full track data for our voyage to the relevant authorities,” Tee said.

According to the Phuket Gazette, the couple on Saturday filed the report with the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), the Australian organisation tasked with coordinating the search for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, and followed up with a second email to the JACC yesterday.

The Gazette has yet to receive confirmation from the JACC that the agency has received the report or any indication as to whether or not the search body will investigate any of the claims.

The British sailor’s claim is the latest in a list of alleged sightings, which spanned across the Indian Ocean, from the Maldives to Vietnam. However, none has been verified as no wreckage of flight MH370 had been found.

The search for the Malaysian jet is the longest in modern passenger-airline history. The previous record was the 10-day search for a Boeing 737-400 operated by Indonesia’s PT Adam Skyconnection Airlines, which went missing off the coast of that country’s Sulawesi island on January 1, 2007. – June 4, 2014.