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Joint Agency Coordination Centre

MH370 Operational Search Update—
06 May 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

  • GO Phoenix continues to conduct search operations to the east of the 7th arc. Weather conditions on Sunday resulted in a temporary suspension of search operations.
  • Fugro Discovery has continued to conduct search operations to the west of the 7th arc and will depart the search area around 7 May to return to Fremantle for resupply.
  • Fugro Equator continues to conduct search operations to the east of the 7th arc with a focus on the south in order to ensure that this area is searched ahead of the expected deterioration in weather conditions.
  • Fugro Supporter continues to conduct search operations within the search area.  However, unfavourable weather conditions have hampered the deployment of the AUV during this period.

Underwater search

The search plan has been modified to enable continuous search operations during winter and to ensure that the entire 120,000 square kilometre area is searched as effectively as possible. Safety of the search crews also remains a priority. Searching in the expanded area will commence as soon as possible and will focus search efforts in the south, to take advantage of the last of the better weather in that area.

Over 75% of the seafloor in the existing search area has been searched so far.

The onset of winter weather is already affecting AUV operations, with rough sea conditions making it difficult to launch and recover the AUV.  The decision has been made to suspend AUV operations in the search area during the winter months.  As a result, Fugro Supporter will withdraw from the search on completion of her present swing.

[Click map to view larger image]

The Search Strategy Working Group continues to review evidence associated with MH370 which may result in further refinement of the search area.

In the event the aircraft is found and accessible, Ministers from Australia, Malaysia and the People's Republic of China have agreed to plans for recovery activities including securing all the evidence necessary for the accident investigation.

Weather

Weather has varied significantly in the past week with sea swells of three to six metres and gale-force winds experienced in the search area. The weather forecast for the next week is moderate, with swells up to 4 metres in the south of the search area, which equals sea state 5 conditions. However, the adverse weather systems experienced over the last few weeks are indicative of the unfavourable sea conditions that will affect search operations in the colder months.