World / Investigation

Chinese rescue ship prepares to resume MH370 search operation

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-04-08 18:22

PERTH -- Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester on Friday visited Chinese ship Dong Hai Jiu 101 in Fremantle, which has been involved in the operation in search of the Malaysian Airline MH370 since February this year and will resume the search after being equipped with a key search equipment.

The Chinese ship is now at the port of Fremantle, about 20 km southwest of Perth, where Phoenix International's Remora III remote operated vehicle (ROV) is being mobilized. The ROV will be used in the recovery of the lost SLH-ProSAS-60 towfish.

In a statement issued after his visit to the ship and meeting with Chinese Consular General Lei Kezhong, Chester thanked the Chinese government for providing the vessel to join the search operations for MH370.

"The ship will embark on a mission in the next few days to recover the SLH-ProSAS towfish which detached from the vessel during its previous search effort," Chester said.

"I wish the crew well in both the recovery mission and their ongoing efforts to locate MH370 in the 120,000 square kilometre search area."

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau, on behalf of Australia, is leading the search for MH370.

More than 95,000 square kilometres of the seafloor in the 120,000 square kilometre search area have been searched so far.

In the past few months, several pieces of debris have been found along the western coast of Africa, including in La Reunion, Mozambique and South Africa. At least three pieces had been confirmed to be from MH370.

Experts said that the fact that MH370 debris is discovered in Africa confirms the theories about underwater currents and drift modelling and is consistent with the analysis which leads to the current search in the southern Indian Ocean.

Apart from Dong Hai Jiu 101, two other vessels, Fugro Discovery and Fugro Equator are also involved in the search operation.

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