The Australian Transport Safety Board reports that the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is increasingly likely to be compromised by bad weather as the southern hemisphere winter advances.
The latest ATSB report says: “Poor weather conditions prompted the crew of Fugro Discovery to recover the deep-tow vehicle and go to weather avoidance on 8 May. The vessel is expected to depart for Fremantle later today.
“Fugro Equator departed Fremantle for the search area on 6 May but poor weather has slowed transit to the search area. The vessel is anticipated to arrive on 11 May but weather conditions in the coming days are expected to preclude search operations.
“Dong Hai Jiu 101 completed testing of the SLH‑ProSAS‑60 deep tow system and departed for the search area on 10 May.”
The sea conditions report speaks of 12m high waves and 50kt winds, but the Board says searches will resume whenever the weather permits.
This does not sound promising because the search is nearing its end, as the ATSB explains: “It is anticipated this will be completed around the middle of the year. In the absence of credible new information that leads to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, Governments have agreed that there will be no further expansion of the search area.”
But if they do find the wreckage within the remaining search area, Malaysia, China and Australia are committed to recovering it all.