Bluefin Mission 7 Marks Halfway Point in Flight 370 Sea Floor Search
Hunt Continues without ‘Contacts of Interest’
Australian officials announced Sunday that the underwater search has covered “approximately 50%” of the highly targeted search area, adding that nothing from Flight 370 has been found.
Bluefin 21, the autonomous underwater vehicle tasked with the search of the sea floor for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner, completed its seventh mission Sunday having covered approximately half of the “focused underwater search area” according to Australian authorities. To date, it has not yet found any signs of the lost aircraft.
The Bluefin 21 creates a three-dimensional sonar map of the area and would chart any debris on the sea floor. Authorities said data downloaded and analyzed from Bluefin-21’s search on Sunday found “no contacts of interest.”
The AUV’s eighth mission on the bottom of the southern Indian Ocean commenced shortly after it resurfaced.
Meanwhile, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre said early Sunday morning that up to 11 military aircraft and 12 ships would participate in the day’s search. The search will cover two zones that total roughly 18,729 square miles (48,507 square kilometers).
On Saturday, Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia’s defense and acting transport minister told reporters at a news conference that “experts have narrowed down the search area.” Although the approach may change or other assets may be deployed, “The search will always continue,” he said, adding that, “With every passing day, the search has become more and more difficult.”