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Joint Agency Coordination Centre

MH370 Operational Search Update—
28 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

  • On 21 January, GO Phoenix recommenced search operations following the suspension caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Bansi.
  • Fugro Equator and Fugro Discovery continue underwater search operations.
  • Fugro Supporter is anticipated to arrive in the search area in the next few days.
  • Around 18,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched.

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.

Around 18,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched, which is around 30 per cent of the priority search area.

Assuming no other 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

GO Phoenix suspended underwater search operations on 28 January in order to travel to Fremantle for a scheduled port visit.

Fugro Discovery is scheduled to suspend underwater search operations around 12 February in order to travel to Fremantle for a scheduled port visit.

Fugro Equator is scheduled to suspend underwater search operations around 11 February in order to travel to Fremantle for a scheduled port visit.

Fugro Supporter is anticipated to arrive in the search area in the next few days.

Weather

Overall conditions are expected to be generally favourable during the summer months.