MH370 Operational Search Update—
17 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 arrived at Fremantle on 15 February. While in port, a new cable will be fitted and the tow winch inspected for damage. The vessel will then transit to the calibration range to test the towfish and cable before returning to Fremantle around 20 February to embark a new crew. The ship will then commence transit to the search area.
- Fugro Equator departed Fremantle on 10 February and arrived back in the search area on 15 February and is currently on weather standby. It is anticipated search operations will be able to commence in the next 24 hours.
- Havila Harmony is on weather standby in the search area. It is anticipated search operations will be able to recommence in the next 24 hours.
- Dong Hai Jiu 101 has departed Fremantle to transit to the calibration range where the towfish will be trialed. It will then return to Fremantle to land personnel embarked only for the trials, before departing around 18 February for the first of three swings in the search area.
Underwater search operations
Weather may continue to impact on search operations but more favourable conditions are currently being experienced.
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.
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.
[Click map to view larger image]
Current poor weather is expected to ease in the next 24 hours bringing more favourable conditions for the coming week.