MH370 Operational Search Update—
03 February 2016
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 Fremantle on 31 January, having resupplied and taken on board a replacement cable for the deep tow sonar vehicle (towfish) that was separated from the vessel. The ship is expected to arrive back in the search area around 6 February.
- Fugro Equator will depart the search area today, returning to Fremantle for a scheduled resupply visit.
- Havila Harmony departed Henderson on 28 January and is expected to arrive in the search area late today.
- Dong Hai Jiu 101 departed Singapore on 31 January, and is expected to arrive in Fremantle, next week.
[Click to view larger images]
Underwater search operations
Weather may continue to impact on search operations but more favourable conditions are currently being experienced.
Consistent with the undertaking given by the Governments of Australia, Malaysia and the People's Republic of China in April last year, 120,000 square kilometres will be thoroughly searched. It is anticipated this will be completed around the middle of the year. 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.
More than 85,000 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.
[Click map to view larger image]
Recovery of deep tow sonar vehicle
Havila Harmony, which is in transit to the search area, is equipped with a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in addition to the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). The ROV will be used to recover the towfish lost by Fugro Discovery on 24 January, when weather conditions and ongoing AUV search operations allow.
The weather is expected to be variable over the coming week and is not expected to negatively impact on search operations.