One Ship Left in MH370 Underwater Search

Photo: Wikimedia

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), who is leading the search for the missing MH370 flight, informed that Chinese Dong Hai Jiu 101 vessel has concluded the underwater search and is heading back to Shanghai.

On Saturday, Dong Hai Jiu 101 began its passage to Fremantle to demobilize the Phoenix Remora III remotely operated vehicle (ROV) before it returns to Shanghai.

The vessel has completed 33 dives with the ROV since October 2016.

As ATSB informed, the search operations moved from deep tow operations to autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and ROV operations in October.

The ROV on Dong Hai Jiu 101 has been used to reacquire, investigate and eliminate sonar contacts of potential interest identified during previous deep tow and AUV search operations.

In addition, Fugro Equator vessel paused underwater search operations on Tuesday, and started passage to Fremantle for a routine re-supply.

Upon its return, the vessel will continue the undersea search with an AUV. Over the past week, Fugro Equator completed a total of 4 AUV missions, with an average duration of 23 hours.

Fugro Equator’s missions in the remaining parts of the 120,000 square-kilometer search area are expected to be completed in January/February 2017.

To remind, the MH370 flight vanished on March 08, 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board. It is believed that the Boeing 777 aircraft went down in the area offshore Australia.

The Ministers from Malaysia, Australia and the People’s Republic of China agreed that should the aircraft not be located in the current search area, and in the absence of credible new evidence leading to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, the search would be suspended upon completion of the 120,000 square kilometer search area.

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