More than 2 years after the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing carrying 239 passengers and crew, the official search for the jet goes on.
However, according to a new report, efforts into looking for the missing MH370 in the Indian Ocean has been reduced to one ship.
Chinese ship Dong Hai Jiu 101, which was hunting for debris with a remotely operated vehicle – a device tethered to a ship by a cable – departed on Saturday. According to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), it had finished searching the 120,000 square-kilometre expanse last weekend and headed back to he southwest Australian port of Fremantle to drop off equipment before returning to its home port of Shanghai.
AFP cited Australian authorities as saying that Dutch survey ship Fugro Equator, 1 of 4 vessels involved in the search, remains in the 120,000 square-kilometre (46,000-square-mile) zone where investigators believe the Malaysian Airlines jet went down. The Fugro Equator uses a highly manoeuvrable drone known as an autonomous underwater vehicle to get sonar images of difficult terrain. Its mission is expected to wrap up by February 2017.
Meanwhile, relatives of the missing MH370 passengers are headed to Madagascar on Saturday in hopes of finding seaborne plane debris. AFP wrote that 4 Malaysians and 2 Chinese nationals left from Kuala Lumpur and will be joined in Madagascar by other MH370 next-of-kin travelling from France.
Since last year, pieces of wreckage believed have come from the missing plane have been discovered, although not all pieces could be completely verified. The first piece of debris – a 2-metre wing part known as a flaperon – washed up on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion in July 2015.
MH370’s disappearance remains one of the world’s biggest aviation mysteries. It is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean off Australia’s west coast but so far, the extensive deep-sea hunt has yet to find anything.