The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released new videos showing the weather conditions the vessels are encountering in the southern Indian Ocean.
The search for the missing Malaysian Airline MH370 has now covered more than 50,000 square kilometers of the seafloor, and the operation extends during the winter season.
The first video shows GO Phoenix experiencing rough sea conditions in the southern Indian Ocean. The two blue shipping containers on the deck serve as portable workspaces, in which members of the search team conduct towfish operations and maintenance.
Furthermore, ATSB reported that the supporting frame of GO Phoenix’s deep tow system was damaged whilst on deck in rough weather. A significant amount of welding is required to rectify the damaged frame and the initial plan was to undertake this work on-site. However, the vessel’s supply of bottled oxygen and acetylene (both required for welding) was exhausted, requiring the ship to return to Fremantle for resupply. The vessel arrived in Fremantle on June 8. When GO Phoenix departs, the vessel will return to the search area, conducting repairs en route.
Upon completion of the current swing, the current contract with Phoenix International will expire and GO Phoenix will cease search operations and transit to Singapore, ATSB said.
On June 6, Fugro Discovery resumed search operations following a week of weather avoidance. This video shows Fugro Discovery in rough conditions in the Southern Indian Ocean through the winter months.
In addition, On June 6, Fugro Equator resumed search operations following a week of weather avoidance. The next day, however, the vessel once again ceased search operations due to severe unfavourable weather conditions. The vessel continues to use the hiatus to conduct bathymetric survey operations, mapping additional areas of the seafloor which may be incorporated into the search.
Video Source: ATSB/Hydrospheric Solutions/Mike Williams/Ryan Galloway/Joshua Phillips