MH370 Operational Search Update—
19 November 2014
This operational report has been developed to provide regular updates on the progress of the search effort for MH370. Our work will continue to be thorough and methodical, so sometimes weekly progress may seem slow. Please be assured that work is continuing and is aimed at finding MH370 as quickly as possible.
Key developments this week
- Fugro Discovery departed the underwater search area on 18 November to transit to Fremantle for resupply. The vessel is expected to arrive on 23 November and depart again for the search area on 24 November.
- Fugro Equator's mobilisation for the underwater search has been postponed due to delays in the supply of equipment. In the interim, the vessel has been tasked to return to the search area to conduct further bathymetric survey work.
- Over 6,900 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched so far.
A video titled Search for MH370 has been uploaded to the JACC website at www.jacc.gov.au/media/video/index.aspx. The video aims to explain the activities and complexity of the search effort to date, for families affected by the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
The video is available in English, Malay and Mandarin and can also be downloaded from www.jacc.gov.au/media/video/search_for_MH370.aspx.
Fugro Equator's mobilisation to conduct underwater search activities has been postponed due to delays in the supply of the new deep tow winch and cable.
While the equipment is being freighted to Australia from the USA, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has taken the opportunity to conduct further bathymetric survey work. Fugro Equator departed Fremantle on 16 November for the search area. The vessel is expected to arrive in the search area on 20 November and will undertake bathymetric survey work to broaden the survey coverage in the current underwater search area.
Over 6,900 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched so far.
[Click map to view larger image]
In addition to locating the aircraft, the underwater search aims to map the MH370 debris field in order to identify and prioritise the recovery of specific aircraft components, including flight recorders, which will assist with the Malaysian investigation. The ATSB has utilised the data from the bathymetric survey work to prepare the initial plan for the underwater search, to be followed and referred to by all parties involved. The plan includes search timings, methods, procedures, safety precautions and the initial search areas for the various vessels.
GO Phoenix continues to conduct underwater search operations in the assigned search area.
Fugro Discovery suspended search operations and departed the assigned search area on 18 November to transit to Fremantle for resupply and is expected to arrive in port on 23 November.
The weather will see anticipated sea states of 1 to 6 over coming days. Conditions are expected to continue to improve over the summer months.