Date
16 December 2017
Australian vessel Ocean Shield is expected to depart the search zone next Wednesday. Photo: Reuters
Australian vessel Ocean Shield is expected to depart the search zone next Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

Undersea search for MH370 to pause next week

The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the southern Indian Ocean will pause next week, while authorities prepare for the deployment of commercial underwater vehicles to continue the search, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

US Navy’s Bluefin-21 submersible will keep scanning the ocean floor for another week, according to the Joint Agency Coordination Center, the Australian agency leading the search. The Australian ship carrying the submersible, Ocean Shield, is expected to depart the search zone next Wednesday, the report said.

Meanwhile, Chinese ship Zhu Kezhen will start surveying parts of the seabed mapped out by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to pave the way for the commercially-contracted deep ocean search, JACC said. Another Chinese vessel, Haixun 01, will serve as support, including bringing back survey data for processing.

Flight MH370, carrying 239 passengers and crew, vanished en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8.  The international search was directed to an area about 1,000 miles northwest of Perth, based on an interpretation of satellite and other data.

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