Search for MH370 – Chinese Vessel Dong Hai Jiu 101

Media Release

DC224/2016

13 December 2016

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester today thanked the Government of the People's Republic of China for the services of Dong Hai Jiu 101, a Chinese search vessel which was used as part of the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

“The Dong Hai Jiu 101 has provided significant assistance in the search for the missing aircraft,” Mr Chester said.

The vessel commenced search operations in February 2016, initially scanning broad tracks of the ocean floor using deep tow sonar equipment before moving to undertake detailed inspection points of interest, identified by deep tow operations, using a Remotely Operated Vehicle.

“This final detailed inspection, which commenced in late October from Fremantle, has been invaluable undertaking 33 dives in the 120,000 square-kilometre search area,” Mr Chester said.

The vessel has now completed its missions and is returning to Shanghai.

Fugro Equator and its Autonomous Underwater Vehicle remains searching and it is expected the search area will be completed early 2017.

MH370 disappeared on 8 March 2014 with 239 people on board. Australia, Malaysia and People's Republic of China have been working together to find the aircraft since that time.

In July 2016 Ministers from Malaysia, Australia and the People's Republic of China agreed that should the aircraft not be located in the current 120,000 square-kilometre search area, and in the absence of credible new evidence leading to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, the search would be suspended upon completion of the search area.