Damaged underwater vehicle for MH370 hunt reaches port
Posted on May 19 2014 | IANS
Canberra, May 19 : Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) Ocean Shield has arrived at Geraldton, Western Australia, to receive spare parts related to the transponder mounted on it and the transponder mounted on the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Bluefin 21, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said in a statement Monday.
The ADV Ocean Shield and the Bluefin-21 have been deployed for the ongoing search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean off the west coast of Australia.
The repairs are necessary to correct a hardware issue affecting the ability of the transponders to communicate with each other during a dive, JACC said.
The problem became apparent during Bluefin 21's mission last week.
"Ocean Shield was originally going to Dampier to await the transponder parts, however, it was determined that the parts could be delivered to the ship more quickly via the port of Geraldton," the JACC stated.
"The spare parts are expected to arrive in Geraldton later today."
In addition, Malaysian, Australian and Chinese authorities met over the weekend in Fremantle, Western Australia, to discuss the bathymetric survey.
"It was agreed that the Chinese survey ship Zhu Kezhen will conduct the bathymetric survey of the areas provided by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau," the JACC confirmed.
According to the JACC, the Chinese ship is scheduled to sail for the survey area Wednesday if weather permits.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur shortly after midnight March 8.
The Boeing 777-200ER was scheduled to land in Beijing the same morning. The 227 passengers on board included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.