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


People & Company News

STX to Slash Jobs, Sell Yard

To stat above water by restructuring, South Korean Shipbuilder STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. plans to lay off about a third of its workforce and sell a yard in France, says a report in WSJ.

Kongsberg Performs Well in Q2

Norwegian defence and marine technology company Kongsberg Gruppen's second quarter 2016 (Q2) financial results shows sales performance broadly in line with recent trends,

Rickmers Holding, E.R. Capital Drop Merger Plan

Rickmers Holding AG and E.R. Capital Holding have jointly decided not to pursue the merger of their ship management activities.   For many years the companies

Navy

Michelle Obama Sponsors Attack Submarine

General Dynamics Electric Boat has delivered to the U.S. Navy an attack submarine that is sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama and will be named for her home state, reports AP.

Indian Warships Visit Port Victoria

In a demonstration of India’s commitment to its ties with Seychelles and maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region, Indian Naval Ships Kolkata, Trikand and

White House: Iranian Ships' Actions in Gulf Increase Risk of Miscalculation

Actions by Iranian vessels in several encounters with U.S. warships in the Gulf this week are cause for concern and increase risks of miscalculation, the White House said on Friday.

Casualties

Indian Cargo Ship Sinks Off Oman

An Indian cargo ship loaded with vehicles and food supplies destined for Yemen sank on Saturday off the coast of Oman but without loss of life, Oman’s ONA state news agency reported.

Vitol's Malaysia Terminal Suspends Ops after Spill

VTTI, the storage unit of world's largest oil trader Vitol, has suspended operations at its terminal in southern Malaysia following an oil spill, two industry sources said on Friday.

El Faro Captain Ordered Crew to Abandon Ship before Sinking

The captain of the doomed El Faro cargo ship sounded an alarm for his crew to abandon the vessel shortly before it sank last fall in a hurricane near the Bahamas, killing all 33 onboard, the U.

News

Coast Guard Foundation Awarded 128 Scholarships

The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that

Keppel to Deliver First North Sea FPSO

Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M)'s wholly-owned subsidiary Keppel Shipyard Ltd (Keppel Shipyard) is on track to deliver a Floating Production Storage and Offloading

NASA May Send Submarine to Titan

NASA has unveiled plans to send a submarine into the depths of the largest ocean of Saturn's biggest moon, Titan in a bid to explore the depths of its largest ocean.

Maritime Safety

Indian Cargo Ship Sinks Off Oman

An Indian cargo ship loaded with vehicles and food supplies destined for Yemen sank on Saturday off the coast of Oman but without loss of life, Oman’s ONA state news agency reported.

Danish Maritime Authority Supports Maritime Cultural Days

The Danish Maritime Authority's buoy tender ’POUL LØWENØRN’ will be alongside in Korsør in connection with the Maritime Cultural Days. The vessel will be open to visitors throughout Saturday,

ABS Makes it Safer to ‘Walk to Work’

ABS announced the publication of The ABS Guide for Certification of Offshore Access Gangways. The new Guide addresses certification for safety systems used for “walk to work” (W2W) crew transfers.

Eye on the Navy

Indian Warships Visit Port Victoria

In a demonstration of India’s commitment to its ties with Seychelles and maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region, Indian Naval Ships Kolkata, Trikand and

Australia Warns DCNS after Security Breach

Australian defence officials warned French naval contractor DCNS to beef up security in Australia, where it is preparing to build a A$50 billion ($38.13 billion) fleet of submarines,

Iran Vessels Make 'High Speed Intercept' of US Ship

Four of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) vessels "harassed" a U.S. warship on Tuesday near the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. defense official said, amid

People in the News

Coast Guard Foundation Awarded 128 Scholarships

The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that

Keppel to Deliver First North Sea FPSO

Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M)'s wholly-owned subsidiary Keppel Shipyard Ltd (Keppel Shipyard) is on track to deliver a Floating Production Storage and Offloading

Michelle Obama Sponsors Attack Submarine

General Dynamics Electric Boat has delivered to the U.S. Navy an attack submarine that is sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama and will be named for her home state, reports AP.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
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: 0.1427 sec (7 req/sec)