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Joint Agency Coordination Centre

MH370 Operational Search Update—
16 September 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

  • Fugro Discovery departed the search area on 10 September, travelling to Fremantle for a scheduled resupply visit.  The vessel arrived in port on 15 September and is expected to depart for the search area this evening.
  • Fugro Equator has been able to resume search operations which had been suspended due to weather conditions. The vessel will depart the search area on 17 September and travel to Henderson for scheduled resupply.

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.

Search plans were revised in April to ensure the area is searched as quickly and effectively as possible despite unfavourable weather conditions. Notwithstanding the onset of spring, weather continues to impact on search operations but conditions are expected to improve in the coming months. The safety of the search crews, as always, remains a priority, and the vessels and equipment utilised will vary to reflect operational needs.

More than 60,000 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 unfavourable over the coming days, but is expected to improve from Sunday.