MH370 Update: Australians Unveil New Map To Find The Missing Plane

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A Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft searching for missing MH 370
IN PHOTO: The shadow of a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion maritime search aircraft can be seen on low-level clouds as it flies over the southern Indian Ocean looking for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 March 31, 2014. Reuters/Stringer

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, a survey of the 60,000 square kilometre priority search area for MH370 in the Indian Ocean is almost complete with the help of two ships that used multi beam sonar. This survey will help furnish an accurate map of the sea bed up to six kilometers in depth.

Three ships, Equator, Discovery and GO Phoenix, will begin the search for the biggest aviation mystery at the end of September. The first two ships are owned by Fugro Survey Australia while GO Phoenix is a Malaysian-contracted vessel.

Scanning sonor devices called 'towfish' will be put through the water about 100 metres above the seabed. Towfish will be attached to an armour-plated cable with the length of 10 kilometres to maintain optimum height. The new map will help avoid areas with underwater volcanoes as well as other geological features.

The images from the device will be evaluated by offices in Perth after they are fed through a fibre optic cable. The towfish is a device made by the United States company EdgeTech and was used to find a bomber in shallow water used in World War II. 

An equipment which helps find evidence of aviation fuel in the water is also present in addition to a video camera and lights to help go closer to the debris identified by the towfish.

Managing Director of Fugro, Steve Duffield, said that the nature of the work is similar to what they do every day and that the interesting part of this particular search is the size, the depth and the location is really far away. Fugro has been given one year to search the priority zone.

Mr. Duffield continued that the search area had been designated by the safety bureau and that if it is within their search ares, they will find it and that the law of averages show that they could find it on day 1 as easily as on day 365.

He added that Fugro had made a contract only to search and identify a debris field, following which decisions will be taken elsewhere as to what happens about the aircraft.

Irene Burrows from Brisbane had lost her son, Rodney Burrows and daughter-in-law Mary on the flight and she said that MH17 had taken over the search for MH370 but a call from Warren Truss, Deputy Prime Minister, informing her of the search beneath the water, assured her that the search was on. 

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