Bluefin 21 Deployed For Second Day in Search for MH370

15 April 2014

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The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Bluefin 21, deployed on Monday to search for the missing flight MH370 will again be redeployed if weather conditions permit, said the Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (JACC) in a statement on Tuesday.
This handout image taken on April 1, 2014 and received on April 10, 2014 from the US Navy shows the Bluefin 21, Artemis autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) being hoisted back aboard the Australia's Ocean Shield after a successful buoyancy test. - AFP

This handout image taken on April 1, 2014 and received on April 10, 2014 from the US Navy shows the Bluefin 21, Artemis autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) being hoisted back aboard the Australia’s Ocean Shield after a successful buoyancy test. – AFP

Bluefin 21 had to abort its mission on Monday after about six hours when its search took it below its operating depth limit of 4 500 metres and its built in safety feature returned the device to the surface.

The JACC, who are managing the search for the missing flight in the Indian ocean where it is believed to have crashed over a month ago, said the six hours of data gathered by the autonomous submarine is currently being extracted and analysed.

In the meantime up to nine military aircraft, two civil aircraft and 11 ships will assist in Tuesday’s search for any evidence that can be linked to the missing Malaysian Airlines flight.

The weather forecast for the search area on Tuesday predicts south easterly winds with scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms, sea swells up to two metres and visibility of five kilometres.

MH370 disappeared on 8 March with 239 people including crew and passengers on board. Intelligence led authorities to narrow the search down to a search area of about 600 square kilometers off the coast of Australia. A series of acoustic signs believed to be coming from the disappeared aircraft’s black box led the searchers to the area around 1 500km northwest of Perth.

It is believed the commercial aircraft may have been deliberately diverted from its intended route. The plane was heading to Beijing from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur when it vanished.

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