Flight 370: Black Box Search Ends Without Success, ‘Time to Go Underwater’
Oil Slick Found in Search Area Could Be Additional Lead
After almost a week without pings from the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines 777, Australian officials said that the search for signals from the emergency beacons from the aircraft’s black boxes will end and that it is time to deploy an underwater vehicle.
The Royal Australian Navy vessel Ocean Shield had been searching the area for several weeks.
“We haven’t had a signal in six days, “ said Angus Houston, who heads the Joint Agency Coordination Centre that is running the search, at a news conference Monday. “It’s time to go underwater.”
The searchers have come to the conclusion that the batteries powering the black boxes’ emergency beacons have died and no new pings have been detected since last Tuesday.
Houston also announced that the search team found an oil slick in the search area and that a sample has been taken for analysis.
The four pings heard by searchers should be enough to help the search team launch the submersible, he said. The Bluefin 21 autonomous underwater vehicle will be launched to help locate the wreckage as soon as possible, said Houston, adding that it will be a “long and extensive search.”