The underwater hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 resumed Thursday with the redeployment of the U.S. Navy-owned robotic submarine Bluefin-21, authorities said.
The Bluefin-21 will spend six days searching the remaining areas in the vicinity of the acoustic signals detected in early April by the Towed Pinger Locator deployed from Australian defense ship, Ocean Shield.
The operation resumed at 2 a.m. local time Thursday (2 p.m. local time Wednesday) when Ocean Shield returned to the Indian Ocean search zone, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre based in Perth, Australia said in a statement.
“This continues the process that will ultimately enable the search team to discount or confirm the area of the acoustic signals as the final resting place of MH370,” the statement said.
“Ocean Shield is anticipated to depart the search area on 28 May and return to Fleet Base West on 31 May where it will demobilise the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle equipment and disembark the support team.”
JACC added that the Chinese survey ship, Zhu Kezhen, was heading to the zone to begin mapping the ocean floor. Its bathymetric survey is being done in preparation for a commercially contracted deep ocean search for the wreckage.
First published May 22 2014, 12:58 AM