No sign of missing Malaysia Airlines plane

marinelink.com
Monday, March 10, 2014

Ships from six navies, dozens of military aircraft, sweeps with radar technology that can spot a soccer ball from hundreds of feet in the air - all have failed to find a single confirmed trace of a Malaysia Airlines plane that vanished three days ago.

For the sailors and aircrew, it has been a frustrating operation. One reported sighting of the plane's tail turned out to be a few logs tied together.

On Monday, a Vietnamese jet spotted what it believed was a yellow airline life raft floating in the sea. A helicopter scrambled to investigate pulled a moss-covered cable reel cover from the sea.

The massive search is mainly in a 50-nautical mile radius from the point of last radar contact with the plane, midway between Malaysia's east coast and the southern tip of Vietnam. It's an area of about 27,000 sq km (10,500 sq miles) that includes parts of the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea.

There was little commercial shipping in the area on Monday when a Reuters photographer boarded a Vietnamese air force Antonov-26, a Soviet-era transporter, on an aerial sweep.

The plane spent two-and-a-half hours circling a 400 sq km (155 sq mile) area at about 6,500 ft (1,980 metres), but found nothing as crew members peered down with binoculars.

"The main challenge that we face during these searches is that we have to search with bare eyes from a high altitude," said Captain Vu Duc Long of Vietnam's 918 Squadron.

"We sent out three planes this morning, two conducting the search and the other being the commanding craft. But as of right now, we haven't found anything."

No confirmed sighting of any debris or part of the plane has been reported since flight MH370 vanished from radar screens early on Saturday morning, about an hour into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Scores of potential sightings have been checked out.

Typically, aircraft report sightings of objects in the water, if possible with photographs, to Malaysian authorities who are coordinating the search. The nearest low-flying aircraft, helicopter or ships are sent to verify the reports.

EXPANDED SEARCH

Malaysia has expanded the search to its west coast after theories that the plane may have turned back toward Kuala Lumpur for some reason. A total of 34 aircraft and 40 ships from 10 nations are involved in the search.

The U.S. 7th Fleet has sent a P-3C Orion surveillance plane from its base in Okinawa, Japan, and the USS Pinckney destroyer that is equipped with two MH-60R Seahawk helicopters for search and rescue.

The Orion was used for more than three hours on Sunday, sweeping about 4,000 sq km every hour. It is equipped with the APS-147, an advanced radar system that can identify a soccer ball bobbing in the water from hundreds of feet in the air.

The Seahawks have been used for night searches, using a forward-looking infra-red camera.

"There are lots of challenges," said Commander William Marks, a spokesman for the 7th Fleet.

"First should the central point be the point of last communication or last radar contact? Then you have to account for winds and currents. Every hour, the area gets bigger. It's been three days since the plane was reported missing, it's a very large area."

China has sent four naval ships, a coastguard vessel and a civilian ship to help. Three other Orions have also been deployed - two from Australia and one from New Zealand.

Besides militaries and hi-technology, many others are involved in the search.

"We've ordered border guard forces and all fishing boats to check the area," Pham Thanh Tuoi, chairman of the People's Committee of Vietnam's southern Ca Mau Province, told Reuters by phone. "Everyone is on the alert and searching out at the sea, but we haven't found anything yet."


By Nguyen Huy Kham

Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Duke Energy to Help Develop Jeffersonville Port Site

Duke Energy Indiana has selected a 140-acre parcel of land inside the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville in Clark County for the utility's 2015 Site Readiness Program.

UNOLS Seeks Nominations for Council Positions

The University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) is an organization of academic oceanographic institutions working in cooperation with agencies of the U.

Savannah Harbor Expansion Project Update

Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, visited the Port of Savannah on Thursday, for an update on the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP).

Navy

Maritime Disputes Test China's Peaceful Rise

The South China Sea has become the most important testing ground for the changing economic, political and military relationship between China and the United States.

U.S.: Stronger Response in South China Sea Needed

By releasing video of Beijing's island reclamation work and considering more assertive maritime actions, the United States is signaling a tougher stance over the

John Warner Successfully Completes Initial Sea Trials

A Virginia-class attack submarine named after former U.S. Sen. John Warner has successfully completed an initial round of sea trials,  reports UPI.   The U.S.

Salvage

6,000 Gallons of Diesel Spilt in Alaskan Gulf

Unified Command responding to cleanup aboard vessel in Seldovia, Alaska   A Unified Command consisting of representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of the Interior,

US Orders Owner to Clean Up Ruptured Pipeline

Federal order ensures continued action on Santa Barbara County oil spill   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard issued a joint federal

Busan: Tugboat Sinks, Two Dead

Two crew members died after their tugboat sank in waters off the southeastern port city of Busan in Korea, Yonhap reports quoting the authorities.   The accident took place around 12:30 p.

Maritime Security

Maritime Disputes Test China's Peaceful Rise

The South China Sea has become the most important testing ground for the changing economic, political and military relationship between China and the United States.

GE Gas Turbine to Power USCG Cutter

GE LM2500 gas turbine to power United States Coast Guard‘s eighth National Security Cutter   GE Marine reports that its LM2500 gas turbine will power the United

U.S.: Stronger Response in South China Sea Needed

By releasing video of Beijing's island reclamation work and considering more assertive maritime actions, the United States is signaling a tougher stance over the

Casualties

6,000 Gallons of Diesel Spilt in Alaskan Gulf

Unified Command responding to cleanup aboard vessel in Seldovia, Alaska   A Unified Command consisting of representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of the Interior,

Five Years on from Macondo

An interview with NOIA’s Randall Luthi provides unique perspective on where the offshore energy business has been, where it is now, and where it could be headed next.

Sulfur-Laden Bulk Carrier Grounds off Port Arthur, TX

The U.S. Coast Guard is working with state and local partners in response to a bulk carrier loaded with sulfur that ran aground in the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, while

News

Lifting of US Crude Oil Export Ban Possible within Year

The U.S. Congress could lift the 40-year old ban on domestic crude oil exports within a year as a drop in gasoline prices and the potential return of Iranian

Duke Energy to Help Develop Jeffersonville Port Site

Duke Energy Indiana has selected a 140-acre parcel of land inside the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville in Clark County for the utility's 2015 Site Readiness Program.

UNOLS Seeks Nominations for Council Positions

The University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) is an organization of academic oceanographic institutions working in cooperation with agencies of the U.

Maritime Safety

6,000 Gallons of Diesel Spilt in Alaskan Gulf

Unified Command responding to cleanup aboard vessel in Seldovia, Alaska   A Unified Command consisting of representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of the Interior,

IRS Introduces Ship Construction Standards

The International Register of Shipping has submitted goal-based new ship construction standards for verification audit by the International Maritime Organisation.

Five Years on from Macondo

An interview with NOIA’s Randall Luthi provides unique perspective on where the offshore energy business has been, where it is now, and where it could be headed next.

Eye on the Navy

U.S.: Stronger Response in South China Sea Needed

By releasing video of Beijing's island reclamation work and considering more assertive maritime actions, the United States is signaling a tougher stance over the

John Warner Successfully Completes Initial Sea Trials

A Virginia-class attack submarine named after former U.S. Sen. John Warner has successfully completed an initial round of sea trials,  reports UPI.   The U.S.

HHI Launches Korea’s Second Minelayer

Shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) launched the second minelayer, MLS-II Nampo, for the Korean Navy.   In attendance at the MLS-II launching ceremony were Baek Seung-joo,

People in the News

UNOLS Seeks Nominations for Council Positions

The University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) is an organization of academic oceanographic institutions working in cooperation with agencies of the U.

Savannah Harbor Expansion Project Update

Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, visited the Port of Savannah on Thursday, for an update on the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP).

Entries Sought for SHIPPINGInsight Award

Entries are now being accepted for the 2015 SHIPPINGInsight Award, which will be presented at the SHIPPINGInsight Fleet Optimization Conference & Exhibition, Oct.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 2.5070 sec (0 req/sec)