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Joint Agency Coordination Centre

MH370 Operational Search Update—
07 January 2015

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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 departed Fremantle on 6 January, having completed mobilisation to conduct underwater search operations.
  • Fugro Discovery arrived in Fremantle on 6 January for resupply and operational maintenance. The vessel is anticipated to depart for the search area around 9 January.
  • GO Phoenix arrived in Fremantle on 2 January for resupply and operational maintenance. The vessel departed for the search area on 5 January 2015.

Bathymetric Survey

Fugro Equator completed bathymetric survey work in the search area on 17 December and returned to Fremantle to be mobilised for the underwater search. To date, around 208,000 square kilometres have been surveyed.

Underwater search

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.

Over 14,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched.

Assuming no significant delays with vessels, equipment or from the weather, the current underwater search area may be largely completed around May 2015.

[Click map to view larger image]

Ship movements

Fugro Equator completed bathymetric survey work on 17 December and returned to Fremantle for mobilisation to conduct underwater search operations. It arrived in port on 22 December and departed on 6 January 2015.

Fugro Discovery suspended search activities on 30 December 2014 and returned to Fremantle for resupply and operational maintenance. The vessel arrived in port on 6 January 2015, and is anticipated to depart for the search area around 9 January.

GO Phoenix suspended search operations on 28 December 2014 and returned to Fremantle for resupply and operational maintenance. The vessel arrived in port on 2 January 2015 and departed for the search area on 5 January 2015.

Weather

Sea states in the search area are anticipated to range from 1 to 4 over the next four days. Overall conditions are expected to continue to be generally favourable during the summer months.