Friday, March 28, 2014

Ocean Shield & SeaHawk In Search for MH370 Off Perth, Pinger Stops on April 7

Australian Navy's Ocean Shield will look for MH370 in the Indian Ocean off Perth, Western Australia 

PERTH, Australia - Operations in the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 will start to centre on the Australian Navy base Garden Island, off the coast of Perth, as officials race against time to locate the missing 777-200's black box recorders before battery power is lost.

The Australian Navy vessel Ocean Shield will arrive at Australia's Garden Island Naval Base Saturday evening, March 29 in Perth.

There, the Ocean Shield will be fitted with specialist US Navy equipment in the hunt for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370's wreckage.

It will be a race against time, as the Malaysian Airlines 777-200's black box recorders will stop pinging on April 7, according to Australian Commodore Peter Leavy, speaking to reporters at Garden Island Naval base.

“In the circumstances that we are facing here, if the black box is recovered and the data is salvageable, I think that will be a very, very important part of the analysis of the subsequent investigation," Commodore Leavy told Perthnow.

The equipment, called a Towed Pinger Locator, will be quickly attached to the Ocean Shield, and is designed to locate the black box flight recorders of MH370 in deep seas.

The Ocean Shield will be joined by an Australian Navy Seahawk helicopter, the chopper will land at Garden Island and journey the 2-3 days with the Ocean Shield west, to the new MH370 search zone.

Australian Navy's Garden Island Naval base off the coast of Perth, Western Australia. 

The new zone is about 1800km due west of Perth. The Ocean Shield will likely leave Garden Island Monday.

The Seahawk was transported to Perth on Friday for the mission via a Boeing Globemaster aircraft from a base in New South Wales.
The Ocean Shield will be fitted with a Tower Ping Locator, an advanced system flown into Perth by the United States military this week.

Another Australian Navy ship, the HMAS Toowoomba, left Garden Island Saturday afternoon, joining the HMAS Success in the Indian Ocean.
Video: CNN report on Towed Pinger Locator flown to Perth, to be attached to the Ocean Shield at Garden Island. More to come.....

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