MH370 Operational Search Update—
14 December 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 arrived at Fremantle on Monday, 12 December 2016, to conduct a routine re-supply. The vessel departed on the same day for the search area to continue using the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). This is to be the vessel's final swing in the search area.
- On Wednesday, 7 December 2016, Dong Hai Jiu 101 arrived in Fremantle to demobilise the Phoenix Remora III Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The vessel departed from Fremantle on Saturday, 10 December, to return to Shanghai.
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 have reiterated 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.
Due to poor weather conditions over the Southern hemisphere winter, searching the entire 120,000 square-kilometre underwater search area has taken longer than first planned. Currently it is expected the search operations of the current area will be completed in January 2017.
[Click map to view larger image]
A weak front will move through on Wednesday. Strong fronts will move through the area from Thursday before a ridge moves over the area on Saturday. Strong fronts are expected to be experienced in the area again from Sunday.
There are no vessels currently operating in the search area.