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Joint Agency Coordination Centre

MH370 Operational Search Update—
01 June 2016

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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

  • Winter weather conditions continue to bring rough seas and strong winds to the search area, impacting on operations.
  • Fugro Discovery is on weather standby north of the search area. Forecast poor weather conditions will likely delay search operations.
  • Fugro Equator has been unable to undertake deep tow search activities due to poor weather. Consequently, the vessel has been tasked with bathymetric survey operations which can generally still be carried out in such conditions, however, survey was suspended briefly when the weather became extreme. Surveying has now recommenced.
  • Dong Hai Jiu 101 continues to be on weather standby as current conditions preclude deep-tow search operations.

Underwater search operations

Recent poor weather conditions have severely impacted search operations. It is now anticipated it may take until around July/August to complete the 120,000 square kilometres, but this will be influenced by weather conditions over the winter months.

Poor conditions have prevented the safe deployment of deep tow search equipment from any of the vessels for the past three weeks. These conditions make it unsafe for crew to perform some activities and to access some areas, such as the back working deck.

In the last week, a peak wave height of 18.2 metres was measured on board the vessel (the vessel itself is 20 metres from the waterline to the top of the mast). While none of the search vessels has sustained damage that would affect its ability to continue the search, the poor weather directly impacts on the crew, their ability to work effectively, and to get adequate rest. The doctors on board each vessel have been actively monitoring the health and wellbeing of all personnel.

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More than 105,000 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. 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]


Poor weather conditions are again forecast for the coming week and it is expected that search operations will continue to be disrupted.