[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Search for missing MH370 moves underwater

Submarine to be deployed as searchers say they are confident they know the approximate position of the plane.

Last updated: 15 Apr 2014 02:38
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Although an oil slick has been located, searchers are pessimistic about the likelihood of finding floating debris [Reuters]

An autonomous underwater vehicle is to be deployed in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane after nearly six weeks of fruitless searching, the head of the Australian agency supervising the search says.

Searchers said on Monday they were confident they knew the approximate position of wreckage of the Boeing 777, some 1,550 km northwest of Perth, and said they were moving ahead on the basis of four acoustic signals they believe were from its black box recorders.

"Despite the lack of further detections, the four signals previously acquired taken together constitute the most promising lead we have in the search for MH370," Angus Houston, the Australian search chief, told reporters in Perth.

"The experts have therefore determined that the Australian Ocean Shield will cease searching with a towed pinger locator later today and deploy the autonomous underwater vehicle, 'Bluefin-21', as soon as possible," he said, referring to the US Navy device designed to detect the tell-tale "pings".

Oil slick

The batteries in the plane's black box are now two weeks past their 30-day expected life and searchers will be relying on sonar and cameras on the Bluefin-21 to detect the box.

Houston said although an oil slick was located in the search area on Sunday evening, he was pessimistic about the likelihood of finding any of the floating debris.

"The chances of any floating material being recovered have greatly diminished and it will be appropriate to confer with Australia's partners to decide the way ahead later this week," Houston said.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared soon after taking off on March 8 from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board.

278

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.