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New MH370 Search Kicks Off in Southern Indian Ocean: Report

Image: New MH370 Search Kicks Off in Southern Indian Ocean: Report
The Fugro Discovery search vessel moored at Fremantle Port, Perth, Australia, 05 October 2014. (Angie Raphael/EPA/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Oct 2014 09:34 AM

A new search for MH370, the Malaysian Airlines flight that went missing in March and presumably crashed with 239 passengers on board, has quietly started in the southern Indian Ocean.

The GO Phoenix, a ship hired by Malaysia, began a renewed search Monday some 1,100 miles west of the Australian coast where officials believe the flight may have crashed, the BBC News reported. The ship is reportedly outfitted with specialized underwater sensors that deploy sonar and video to scan the seabed near the "7th arc," a priority search area.

The sensors are specifically set to detect traces of jet fuel, officials told BBC News.

The Australian government has been working to create a clearer map of the sea floor over the last few months, which contractors have been tirelessly analyzing.

Stuart Minchin, head of the Environmental Geoscience Division of Geoscience Australia, told CNN that the existing sea floor data in that particular area was at a low resolution. Minchin said that getting an accurate picture of the floor will be vital in speeding up the search process.

"In the second phase of the search, which involves towing devices close to the sea bed to get a very fine resolution picture of what's down there, it's important to have that level of detail so we don't run into objects," he told CNN.

"It's a long way from shore at very significant depths so it's a logistical challenge. It's unprecedented in terms of doing a survey of this size and in this remote location."

Martin Dolan, of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, told Australian Broadcasting Corporation News the new search for the Malaysian flight could last around 12 months.

"What we have is a plan to cover the high priority areas, [but] we don't really have any sense of when in the course of that year we're likely to find something," Dolan said. "All we want to indicate to everyone is we're cautiously optimistic in the course of a year we'll locate the missing aircraft."

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A new search for MH370, the Malaysian Airlines flight that went missing in March and presumably crashed with 239 passengers on board, has quietly started in the southern Indian Ocean.
new, mh370, search, missing, plane
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2014-34-07
Tuesday, 07 Oct 2014 09:34 AM
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