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 Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter June 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navy

Swiftships to Procure Patrol Craft Kits for Egyptian Navy

Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) awards contract to Swiftships for four 28-meter KITs for the Egyptian Navy   On June 28, 2016 Louisiana-based Swiftships, LLC,

Ingalls to Build US Warship LH8

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been selected to build the U.S. Navy’s next large-deck amphibious assault warship, LHA 8.

This Day In Naval History: July 1

1801 - Commodore Richard Dale's squadron arrives at Gibraltar for the protection of American interests and to strike at the Barbary Pirates in the Mediterranean.

Maritime Security

Maritime Piracy: More "sophisticated and prevalent” around Gulf of Guinea

While the matter of maritime piracy has seemingly subdued from its high profile peaks of a few years ago, Stuart Edmonston, Head of Loss Prevention at UK P&I Club,

US Provides $100 Mln in Port Security Grants

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced final allocations of $275 million for six fiscal year 2016 U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) competitive preparedness grant programs,

MAST, AMSA Partner for Risk Management Services

Maritime security company Maritime Asset Security Training (MAST) has announced their partnership with Astbury Marine Services & Associates (AMSA), a specialist

News

US Oil Drillers Add Rigs for 4th Week in 5

U.S. drillers this week added oil rigs for a fourth week in five, according to a closely followed report Friday, in the best month of producers returning to the

Vale Sells 3 Valemax Iron Ore Ships to ICBC

Brazil's Vale SA said it has sold three of its giant "Valemax" iron ore ships to a group led by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, continuing efforts to unload

Fincantieri Launches Silver Muse

Silver Muse, the new ultra-luxury cruise ship which Fincantieri is building for the ship owner Silversea Cruises, was launched at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Genoa Sestri Ponente.

Maritime Safety

ClassNK Sets up Industry's first Digital Archive Center

ClassNK has established ClassNK Archive Center (NKAC), the maritime industry’s first onshore digital archive center that fully complies with IMO Goal-based ship

Maritime Piracy: More "sophisticated and prevalent” around Gulf of Guinea

While the matter of maritime piracy has seemingly subdued from its high profile peaks of a few years ago, Stuart Edmonston, Head of Loss Prevention at UK P&I Club,

UASC Fully Compliant VGM Lift Now

United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) announced today the conclusion of a 100% compliant Verified Gross Mass (VGM) lift of 159 UASC containers on board CSCL’s Saturn.

Eye on the Navy

Ingalls to Build US Warship LH8

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced that its Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been selected to build the U.S. Navy’s next large-deck amphibious assault warship, LHA 8.

This Day In Naval History: July 1

1801 - Commodore Richard Dale's squadron arrives at Gibraltar for the protection of American interests and to strike at the Barbary Pirates in the Mediterranean.

IOMAXIS Awarded $245 Mln Contract to Support NRL

Contract will allow IOMAXIS to provide research, development and technical support to initiatives at the Naval Research Lab   IOMAXIS, provider of technologies

People in the News

NORDEN’s Dry Cargo Head Bonderup Resigns

Ejner Bonderup, Executive Vice President and member of the Executive Management in Dampskibsselskabet NORDEN A/S, has resigned from his position to take up a position in another shipping company.

Fincantieri: Silver Muse Launched in Sestri

“Silver Muse”, the new ultra-luxury cruise ship which Fincantieri is building for the shipowner Silversea Cruises, was launched today at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Genoa Sestri Ponente.

ClassNK Sets up Industry's first Digital Archive Center

ClassNK has established ClassNK Archive Center (NKAC), the maritime industry’s first onshore digital archive center that fully complies with IMO Goal-based ship

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Port Authority Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction 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: 0.1413 sec (7 req/sec)