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Joint Agency Coordination Centre

MH370 Operational Search Update—
17 June 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 departed Fremantle on 10 June and arrived back in the search area on 16 June, having completed repairs on the damaged support frame for the deep tow system en route. The vessel is expected to commence search operations today, weather permitting. 
  • Fugro Discovery remains in the search area, but was obliged to pause search operations on 14 June as a result of poor weather. Search operations recommenced on 16 June.
  • Fugro Equator remains in the search area, but was obliged to pause search operations on 14 June as a result of poor weather. Search operations recommenced on 16 June.

Underwater search

As announced in April, the search area has been expanded beyond an original 60,000 square kilometre search area to enable up to 120,000 square kilometres to be searched if required. In the absence of credible new information that leads to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, Governments have agreed that there will be no further expansion of the search area beyond the 120,000 square kilometres.

Search operations have been modified and Fugro vessels have undergone winterisation to enable continuous search operations during winter, as well as to ensure that the required area is searched as quickly 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 the winter months.

The Malaysian Government has advised that the contract with GO Phoenix will end with the completion of the current swing and the vessel will transit to Singapore.

More than 50,000 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

The weather is forecast to be favourable over the next five days. Search operations will continue through the winter months, but pauses are anticipated.