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First of three vessels arrives in designated area for MH370 search

Reporter: Rian Maelzer 丨 CCTV.com

10-07-2014 07:22 BJT

Full coverage: Malaysia Airlines Plane Bound for Beijing Goes Missing

The underwater search for Malaysian passenger plane MH370, which mysteriously vanished six months ago resumed on Monday.

Underwater search for MH370 resumes after four-month hiatus

Underwater search for MH370 resumes after four-month hiatus.

It’s been more than four months since the air, sea and underwater search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 was suspended after authorities concluded that what they had hoped were pings or signals from the plane’s black boxes were in fact yet another false lead. Since then, two ships have spent months using sonar to make detailed maps of the ocean floor so that the undersea search could resume with a greater chance of success. And on Monday the first of three ships expected to take part in that search arrived in the designated area off the west coast of Australia.

These are still shots of a map created to show the underwater topography of the focus area off the west coast of Australia in the search for missing flight MH370.

This video from an earlier survey of a different area off the Australian coast gives an idea of the kind of detail such a map will provide.

It will help make sure that the towed sonar equipment does not run into any obstacles as it scans the ocean floor at depths of up to five kilometres.

A ship contracted by the Malaysian government arrived in the key search area on Monday to begin the undersea search. A second ship contracted by the Australian government has arrived in Fremantle, Australia to take on crew and equipment before joining the search in the coming days.

It’s expected to be joined by another ship from the same company which has been conducting the undersea survey since June.

The vessels will be using what’s called side scan sonar equipment as well as echo sounders and video cameras to scour an area of seafloor covering some 60,000 square kilometres.

Australia and Malaysia are splitting the costs of the search, with the latest phase expected to run into the 10s of millions of dollars.

Officials caution it could still take up to another year to find MH370, more painful months of waiting and uncertainty for families and friends of the 239 passengers and crew who were on board the plane when it vanished seven months ago.

 

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