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Joint Agency Coordination Centre

MH370 Operational Search Update—
20 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 arrived at the port of Fremantle on 17 May to conduct routine resupply and is expected to depart for the search area on 20 May.
  • Fugro Discovery departed Fremantle on 15 May and is expected to arrive back in the search area around 21 May.
  • Fugro Equator suspended search operations on 14 May to travel to Fremantle for routine resupply. The vessel is expected to arrive in port in the evening of 20 May, and to depart late the next day.

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 quickly and effectively as possible.  The search into the expanded area has already commenced, with search efforts focused in the south to take advantage of the last of the usable weather in that area.  Safety of the search crews also remains a priority.

Expert advice is that the highest probability of locating the aircraft is within the 120,000 square kilometre search area.  Beyond that, it is not possible to refine the search area to one of greater likelihood.

More than 75 percent of the seafloor in the initial search area has been searched so far.

[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, 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 systems will continue to deteriorate, which will affect search operations in the coming colder months.