Flight 370 Week Four: Search Effort Moves to New Stretch of Indian Ocean
Australian PM Says Effort to Continue ‘Indefinitely’
The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane entered a fourth week Monday as a multinational search team resumed its work, this time in a new section of the southern Indian Ocean.
In Sydney, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters that the effort would continue indefinitely, despite the lack of a breakthrough.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, in a statement released Monday, said that the search would restart with ten planes and 10 ships in a new area of the southern Indian Ocean that is now believed to be where the ill-fated jetliner ran out of fuel and crashed into the ocean on March 8, with 239 people on board.
The agency reported that none of the objects that had been spotted earlier turned out to be connected with Flight 370, despite multiple sightings of objects in the sea by Australian, Chinese, and New Zealand aircraft on Friday.
“We’ll keep searching for some time to come. The intensity of our search and the magnitude of our operations is increasing, not decreasing,” Mr. Abbott said on Monday. He indicated authorities were “well short” of the point at which the search might be called off nothing from Flight 370 is found. “If this mystery is solvable, we’ll solve it. But I don’t want to underestimate just how difficult it is.”
In addition, the maritime safety agency reported that the ADV Ocean Shield has been fitted with a black box detector and an autonomous underwater vehicle and was scheduled to depart from Perth Monday.
In a related matter, the agency called off the search for a fishing vessel believed to be in the far southern Indian Ocean near Antarctica. A Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion had been reassigned from the MH370 search and sent to fly to the area to investigate and render assistance if possible. No sign of the boat has been found and the search was suspended “based on expert medical advice indicating that in the current weather conditions there is no prospect of survival.“
(Photo: U.S. Navy)