Search for missing Malaysian jet resumes

Perth, April 16: Up to 14 aircraft and 11 ships will assist in Wednesday’s search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, while the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Bluefin 21 was again deployed Tuesday night from Ocean Shield for underwater searching, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said Wednesday.

“The data from Bluefin-21′s first mission has been downloaded and analysed. No objects of interest were found,” Xinhua quoted the JACC as saying.

As the search operation for missing Malaysian Airline flight MH370 entered the stage of underwater search, the autonomous underwater vehicle, Bluefin 21, undertook its first mission from Monday evening to early Tuesday morning.

However, an unexpected encounter with water deeper than 4,500 metre, the limit of Bluefin’s diving capability, had forced the first operation to end prematurely.

The Bluefin initially has an operating cycle of 24 hours, with two hours going down, 16 hours of searching underwater, two hours coming up to the surface and four hours for data downloading, analysis and re-programming.

In addition, 11 military aircraft, three civil aircraft and 11 ships will assist in Wednesday’s search. And the Australian Maritime Safety Authority has planned a visual search area totaling approximately 55,151 sq km Wednesday. The centre of the search areas lies approximately 2,087 km northwest of Perth.

The weather forecast for Wednesday is said to be south easterly winds with isolated rain showers, sea swells up to 2 metres with visibility of five km.

IANS