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Chinese ship returns home from long search for MH370


10-13-2014 06:09 BJT

Full coverage: Malaysia Airlines Plane Bound for Beijing Goes Missing

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SHANGHAI, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01, which joined in the search for the missing Malaysian airline flight MH370 on March 10, returned to its base port in Shanghai on Sunday.

The Chinese ship has broken many records in the nation's maritime search and rescue work in time duration and mileage, said Ma Liedong, commander of the ship's search force.

The ship's search efforts lasted 216 days. During the period, the ship traveled 22,371 nautical miles and scoured more than 240,000 square km of waters.

Official data showed China sent out 19 ships, eight helicopters and five fixed-wing planes in the search, after the MH370 flight went missing early on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. A total of 239 passengers and crew were on board, including 154 Chinese.

"China has dispatched the largest number of forces and resources for the search," Ma said.

Haixun 01's route covered areas including the Strait of Malacca, Sunda Strait, waters to the west of Indonesia and in the southern Indian Ocean.

China Maritime Search and Rescue Center said the search personnel on the ship braved severe sea conditions and conducted their search in a highly responsible and diligent manner.

Chinese search forces used multiple technologies such as satellites and deep-water equipment for three-dimensional search of the flight, while keeping close cooperation with Malaysia and Australia's search forces, the center said.

Haixun 01 had also used various equipment including a submersible robot, underwater cameras and black box detectors in the search, according to Zhang Liang in charge of surveying and detection on the ship.

However, Zhang said China still lacks powerful and professional patrol ship and equipment for search in blue waters, showing China needs to improve its technologies and equipment in the future.

To date, the MH370 flight search has been led by Dutch firm Furgo. Chinese authorities said they will continue to send personnel to Australia to assist in the search.

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