A South African teenager vacationing in Mozambique may have found part of a wing from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which his family dismissed as "rubbish" and his mother nearly threw away, he said Friday. On Dec. 30, Liam Lotter was strolling on a beach in southern Mozambique, near the resort town of Xai Xai, when he spotted a gray piece of debris washed up on the sand, he recalled. It had rivet holes along the edge and the number 676EB stamped on it, convincing him he had found a piece of an aircraft. So he dragged the piece back to his family's vacation home. The curved piece of debris is about 3.3 feet long, and about half that length wide, his father Casper Lotter said.
His parents dismissed it as a "piece of rubbish" that was probably debris from a boat, with his uncle making fun of him for dragging it around, but the 18-year-old insisted on bringing it back to South Africa to research the fragment. He ultimately set it aside; it was only when Lotter read about another piece of possible debris from the missing airliner also found in Mozambique, about 186 miles from where he had made his discovery, that he resumed his probe. "I was very shocked—Mozambique, similar color, similar area," the teen said of the piece discovered by an American man. "He described it similarly to what I'm looking at right now." A spokesperson for the South African Civil Aviation Authority tells the AP, "We have arranged for collection of the part, which will be sent to Australia as they are the ones appointed by Malaysia to identify parts found."