MH370 Operational Search Update—
31 August 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 Equator is in the search area and conducting search operations.
- Dong Hai Jiu 101 remains at anchor off Fremantle.
- It is expected that searching the entire 120,000 square kilometre search area will be completed by around December 2016.
Underwater Search Operations
More than 110,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched so far.
At a meeting of Ministers from Malaysia, Australia and the People's Republic of China held on 22 July 2016, it was agreed that should the aircraft not be located in the current search area, and in the absence of credible new evidence leading to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, the search would be suspended upon completion of the 120,000 square kilometre search area.
Ministers went to great lengths to explain that this does not mean the termination of the search. Should credible new information emerge that can be used to identify the specific location of the aircraft, consideration will be given to determining next steps.
[Click map to view larger image]
Debris found off Mozambique
Late last week, further debris was reported as being found on Linga Linga beach in Mozambique. Retrieval and analysis of evidence, including possible debris from MH370, is the responsibility of the Government of Malaysia. Australia, via the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), is continuing to support Malaysia with the examination of debris where appropriate.
The finding of debris on islands in the Indian Ocean and along the east and south coasts of Africa, is consistent with drift modelling performed by Australia's Commonwealth Scientific Industrial and Research Organisation (CSIRO) and affirms the focus of search efforts in the southern Indian Ocean.
Gale force winds with seas up to nine metres are expected in the south of the search area over the coming days. Search operations in the north of the search area are expected to be unaffected.