MH370 Operational Search Update—
03 December 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 is en route back to the search area after conducting an emergency medevac voyage to Fremantle. The vessel had departed from the search area early after a crew member became unwell suffering severe pain. Upon arrival at port on 27 November, the crew member was transported to hospital to receive medical care. The vessel was resupplied and departed Fremantle on 29 November. It is expected to arrive back in the search area on 3 December.
- Fugro Equator is conducting search operations and is scheduled to depart the search area around 16 December.
- Havila Harmony has successfully completed sea trials at the calibration site, and departed for the search area on 30 November. The vessel is expected to arrive in the search area on 5 December.
- The Australian Transport Safety Bureau released its report: MH370—Definition of Underwater Search Areas on 3 December 2015.
Underwater search operations
Weather continues to impact on search operations but the onset of summer is expected to bring more favourable conditions over the coming months.
More than 75,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched so far.
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.
Release of Report: MH370—Definition of Underwater Search Areas
The Search Strategy Working Group has, on an ongoing basis, been reviewing evidence associated with MH370. As part of this work, the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group was engaged to provide expert analysis of available data relating to MH370. Using this information, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has prepared a report, MH370—Definition of Underwater Search Areas, which can be found at jacc.gov.au/media/reports/2015/december/index.aspx.
The report affirms the focus of search efforts to date and also identifies areas of highest probability of containing the aircraft within the 120,000 square kilometre search zone.
The following map shows the priority area in purple. Within that area is a heat map showing the area of greatest likelihood in red.
[Click map to view larger image]
Consistent with the undertaking given by the Governments of Australia, Malaysia and the People's Republic of China earlier this year, 120,000 square kilometres will be thoroughly searched. It is anticipated this will be completed around mid-2016.
Weather is forecast to be favourable for the coming week.