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Joint Agency Coordination Centre

MH370 Operational Search Update—
03 December 2014

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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 Equator continues to conduct bathymetric survey operations.
  • Fugro Discovery departed Fremantle for the search area on 29 November.
  • GO Phoenix departed the search area on 26 November to return to Fremantle for resupply and arrived on 2 December.

Bathymetric Survey

Fugro Equator continues to conduct bathymetric survey work in the search area. To date, over 185,000 square kilometres of the search area have been surveyed.

Underwater search

Over 8,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched.

[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.

Ship movements

Fugro Equator continues to conduct bathymetric survey operations in the search area and is expected to return to Fremantle in mid-December following completion of the current phase of survey operations.
Fugro Discovery departed Fremantle for the search area on 29 November. The vessel is expected to arrive at the search site on 4 December to recommence underwater search operations.

GO Phoenix departed the search area 26 November to return to Fremantle for resupply, arriving on 2 December. The vessel is expected to depart for the search area in the next few days.

Weather

Sea states in the area are anticipated to range from 1 to 5 over the next four days and heavy weather has slowed Fugro Discovery's transit to the search area. Overall conditions are expected to continue to be generally favourable during the summer months.