MH370 Operational Search Update—
16 March 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 continues to conduct underwater search operations.
- Fugro Equator continues to conduct underwater search operations. The vessel is expected to depart the search area on 17 March, returning to Fremantle for a scheduled resupply visit.
- Havila Harmony continues to conduct underwater search operations with the AUV. The vessel is expected to depart the search area on 20 March, returning to BAE Henderson.
- Dong Hai Jiu 101 continues to conduct search operations.
- A South African citizen reported finding debris, suspected to be from an aircraft, in Mozambique. Arrangements are being made for the debris to be transported to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau laboratories in Canberra, along with the debris that was found in Mozambique by an American citizen last week. Both items will be examined by investigators from Australia and Malaysia, as well as specialists from Boeing, to confirm if they come from an aircraft and establish their origin.
- Officials from Malaysia are continuing discussions with French authorities about debris found on La Réunion. Current advice is that it is unlikely to be from an aircraft.
Underwater search operations
Weather may continue to impact on search operations but generally, more favourable conditions are being experienced.
More than 90,000 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]
Forecast weather conditions in the search area are currently favourable. Worsening conditions around the end of the week are not expected to adversely impact on search activities.