MH370 Operational Search Update—
27 May 2015
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 departed from Fremantle on 21 May, and arrived back in the search area on 26 May. Upon completion of the current swing, GO Phoenix will cease search operations and is expected to transit to Singapore.
- Fugro Discovery arrived back in the search area on 22 May and is undertaking search operations.
- Fugro Equator departed Fremantle on 21 May, and is expected to arrive in the search area on 28 May.
As announced in April, the search area has been expanded beyond the original 60,000 square kilometre search area to cover up to 120,000 square kilometres. Expert advice is that the highest probability of locating the aircraft is within the 120,000 square kilometre search area. It is not possible, based on available information, to determine further search priorities outside the 120,000 square kilometre area.
The search plan now covers the entire 120,000 square kilometres and has been modified to enable continuous search operations during winter, as well as to ensure that the required area is searched as efficiently and effectively as possible. Over coming weeks, search operations will be focused in the south to take advantage of the last of the better weather in that area prior to the expected onset of continuous poor weather during winter. Safety of the search crews, as always, remains a priority and vessels and equipment utilised will vary to reflect operational needs, particularly during winter months.
More than 48,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have 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, or prioritisation within, 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 will continue to deteriorate, which will affect search operations in the coming colder months.