Search continues: Royal Australian Air Force loadmasters Sgt Adam Roberts (left) and Flight Sgt John Mancey launching a Self-Locating Data Marker Buoy from a C-130J Hercules aircraft in the southern Indian Ocean as part of the Australian Defence Force’s assistance to the search for Flight MH370. — EPA
SEPANG: It’s been a fruitless two weeks but the search for Flight MH370 will go on until the Boeing 777 is found – even beyond the 30-day life span of the batteries powering the locator beacons of its black box.
Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the searchers would not lose spirit although they were not getting any closer to finding the aircraft.
“We will carry on until MH370 is found.
“Any information we receive from the French team, which took two years to find the black box on Air France Flight 447, will be used along with all available technology,” he told the daily press briefing here yesterday.
Hishammuddin said the search had taken a global perspective with the United States, China and Japan working together using the most sophisticated equipment in the world.
“There is the Poseidon, P-3 Orions and satellite images and we as a global community are working together to narrow down the search areas.
“If with all these, (we) cannot narrow it, I don’t know who else can,” he said, adding that depth of sea, weather and waves were among the challenges facing searchers, especially in the southern corridor.
“The southern corridor is an area we have to focus on and we need to reduce the size of that very large area.
“This is going to be a long haul and we have to trench down and the focus is to reduce the area of search and possible rescue,” he said.
Hishammuddin said the search efforts in the southwest of Perth were continuing and the Australian authorities were intensifying their efforts in the area.
“HMAS Success is due to reach the area within the next few days.
“China has deployed five ships and three ship-borne helicopters which are currently heading towards the southern corridor.
“Three Chinese aircraft (two Ilyushin IL-76s and one Shaanxi Y-8) arrived here at 11am yesterday and will also be searching in the southern corridor while Japan is deploying its assets to Perth, including two P-3 Orions, to assist with the Australian search efforts,” he said.
Hishammuddin added that Britain’s HMS Echo was already heading towards the southern Indian Ocean to support the search effort.
“They will also be providing us with a list of possible assets that can be deployed if needed,” he said.
He confirmed that they were still awaiting information from the Australian search and rescue operation as to whether the objects shown in the satellite images released by Australia on Thursday were indeed related to MH370.
Hishammuddin also gave his assurance that the Government would keep families of the people on board the flight updated.
He said the briefing for the families on Thursday night had brought them and the Malaysian authorities closer together.
“From now on, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China, Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, will be co-ordinating the briefings,” he said.