Sunday, April 27, 2014

Fruitless search for MH370 to enter 'new phase': Tony Abbott

The search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will enter a new phase after 52 days of searching failed to find any sign of the plane wreckage.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said it was now also highly unlikely that any debris from the plane would be found on the ocean surface.
But Mr Abbott defended the search operation in the southern Indian Ocean and said authorities remained confident that signals detected some weeks ago were from a black box recorder.
Search for missing flight enters "new phase". Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses the media with chief of the Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre, Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston. Search for missing flight enters "new phase". Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses the media with chief of the Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre, Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Speaking in Canberra on Monday, Mr Abbott said the “most difficult search in human history” would switch its focus to underwater operations over an expanded area.
The Bluefin 21 submersible, which has been criticised as unreliable, will still be used to search the ocean floor, along with specialised sonar equipment towed by ships that will scan the seabed for wreckage.
“We will do everything we humanly can, everything we reasonably can, to solve this mystery. We will not let people down,” Mr Abbott said.
“While the search will be moving to a new phase in coming weeks, it certainly is not ending.”
Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston warned the revised search could take up to eight months to complete.
He said searchers were still confident they were searching in the right area.
“If everything goes perfectly, I would say we will be doing well if we do it in eight months,” he said.
“But then you have issues, potential issues, with weather, potential issues with equipment, witness what's happened with the 'Bluefin 21' - a number of teething problems with it.”
Mr Abbott defended his handling of the search and his declaration at the time the signals were detected that searchers were confident they were in the right area.
“Our way of operating at all times has been to release credible information as soon as we've had it so that we could be as transparent as possible,” Mr Abbott said.
“All of the different leads we've had we believe to be credible and important at the time.”


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/fruitless-search-for-mh370-to-enter-new-phase-tony-abbott-20140428-zr0sb.html#ixzz309sMG2y5
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