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Australian ship detects 2 more underwater signals in search of MH370

English.news.cn   2014-04-07 14:53:21

PERTH, Australia, April 7 (Xinhua) -- An Australian ship detected two more acoustic events possibly from airplane black boxes in the past 24 hours in the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 in South Indian Ocean, Australian official announced Monday.

"The towed pinger locator deployed from the Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield has detected signals consistent with those emitted from aircraft black boxes," said Angus Houston who is heading the Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC) which oversees an international joint search mission for the missing flight.

The two separate signal detections occurred within the northern part of the defined search area and would be consistent with transmissions from both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder, according to Houston who was former Australian defense minister and a retired air chief marshal.

"The first detection was held for approximately two hours and 20 minutes and the ship then lost contact before conducting a turn and attempting to reacquire the signal. The second detection on the return leg was held for approximately 13 minutes," Houston said.

Describing the new detection as "the most promising lead" and "the best information" so far in the search effort, Houston warned it has to be treated cautiously and responsibly until final determination is made.

He said the first thing to do before these leads could be possibly verified is to fix the position of the signals, then the Ocean Shield could deploy the autonomous underwater vehicle, Blue Fin 21, into the water and attempt to locate wreckage on the sea floor.

It has been a continuous encouraging lead added to the acoustic findings by Chinese maritime vessel Haixun 01 which first detected pulse signals on last Friday and Saturday in the southern Indian Ocean.

Houston told the press by showing a map of the search effort that the distance between the two locations where Haixun 01 and Ocean Shield respectively detected signals is 600 km.

"We cannot confirm until we find the wreckage," he emphasized, adding that it will be a long-term mission and may take some days for the confirmation.

"In deep oceanic water, nothing happens fast," Houston, who is a veteran in search and rescue missions, told the press.

Houston said Ocean Shield remained in the waters, with a depth of 4,500 meters where the two new signals were detected, to continue to try and regain the signals with towed pinger locator.

The depth of the waters also gives a limited capability of the Blue Fin 21 to retrieve the black boxes, if they are lying on the ocean floor.

The new discovery was made in a sea area north of the place where Chinese vessel Haixun 01 picked up suspicious signals on Saturday, according to Houston, adding it remains unknown whether the two are related.

The missing Boeing 777 plane of the flight lost radio contact in early hours on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, among of which are 154 Chinese passengers.

According to JACC, up to nine military planes, three civil planes and 14 ships will assist in Monday's search for missing flight MH370 with a search area approximately 234,000 square km.

Weather in the search area is expected to be good throughout the day with showers in the afternoon although this is not expected to affect the search.

British HMS Echo is en route to assist the Chinese vessel Haixun 01, which detected pulse signals in the Indian Ocean.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau continues to refine the area where the aircraft entered the water based on continuing ground-breaking and multi-disciplinary technical analysis of satellite communication and aircraft performance, passed from the international air crash investigative team comprising analysts from Malaysia, the United States, the UK, China and Australia.

 Related:

Australian ship detects signals consistent with black boxes

PERTH, Australia, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Australian navy ship Ocean Shield detected suspicious signals consistent with aircraft black boxes, chief coordinator for the search of missing Flight MH370, said on Monday.

"The towed pinger locator deployed from the Australian defence vessel Ocean Shield has detected signals consistent with those emitted from aircraft black boxes," Angus Houston, former Australian defence minister who is heading the Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC), told reporters. Full story

Search and recovery continues for Malaysian flight MH370

PERTH, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Up to nine military planes, three civil planes and 14 ships will assist in Monday's search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC) for the international search efforts said.

The search area is expected to be approximately 234,000 square kilometers, and weather is expected to be fine throughout the day with showers in the afternoon although this is not expected to affect the search.  Full story

Possible pings present "encouraging" lead in MH370 search

PERTH, Australia/KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Chinese and Australian ships have picked up acoustic signals while searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean.

The underwater detection represents an "important and encouraging lead," said Angus Houston on Sunday, whose Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC) is responsible for coordinating the massive multinational hunt far west of Australia's coast. Full story

China search vessels find no clues to missing flight

BEIJING, April 6 (Xinhua) -- China's search vessels still failed to find any confirmed clues to the fate of the Malaysian flight MH370, now missing for 30 days, an official said Sunday.

Vessels of China's ministry of transport searching for the missing passenger jet have searched a total of 136,000 square kilometers by midday of Sunday, according to Zhuo Li, an official with the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center. Full story

Correction of satellite data leads search priority southward

PERTH, Australia, April 6 (Xinhua) -- New correction of satellite data has shifted the priority to the southern part of the search area, Australia's chief coordinator said on Friday.Full story

Chinese aircraft spots new floating objects, search for MH370 intensified

PERTH, Australia, April 5 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese military aircraft searching for the missing Malaysian jetliner spotted white floating objects in the remote southern Indian Ocean west of here Saturday, Chinese military sources said.Full story

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