MH370 Operational Search Update—
08 July 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
- Fugro Discovery arrived in the search area on 3 July, but sea conditions prevented the launch of the towfish and recommencement of search operations until 5 July.
- Fugro Equator arrived back in the search area on 5 July. The vessel took the opportunity to conduct additional bathymetric survey work while sea conditions were unfavourable, launching the towfish on 7 July.
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.
Search plans were revised in April to ensure that the area can be searched as quickly and effectively as possible if required. The Fugro vessels have undergone winterisation to enable continuous search operations during winter. The 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.
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.
The weather is forecast to improve over the coming week, with sea states no higher than 4. Search operations will continue through the winter months, but pauses are anticipated.