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Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Underwater Search Zones Published

Authorities hunting for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 published their new underwater search zones as efforts continue to map the Indian Ocean floor.

Authorities seeking missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 published their new underwater search zones on Thursday as efforts continued to map the floor of the southern Indian Ocean. The GO Phoenix, the first of three ships that will spend up to a year hunting for the Boeing 777's wreckage six days away from Australia's west coast, on Monday began a 12-day trawl of an area along the "seventh arc" — a stretch of ocean where investigators believe the aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed.

The Fugro Discovery will search a second area after leaving port on Saturday while a third vessel, the Fugro Equator, will be mobilized after bathymetric work is complete at the end of the month. The Australian Transportation Safety Bureau announced in its routine update Thursday that it was “in the process of finalizing the plan for the underwater search, to be followed and referred to by all parties involved.” Malaysia and Australia are each contributing around $60 million to fund the search. The Beijing-bound aircraft disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board.

A map showing the planned search areas in the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
A map showing the planned search areas in the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.ATSB

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- Alastair Jamieson