A Chinese survey ship took over the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH379 from warship Jinggangshan in the southern Indian Ocean early Friday morning. Survey ship Zhukezhen, with more than 20 measurement systems on board, specialises in depth measurement and the study of submarine geomorphology and geology.
It will undertake a new underwater phase of the search as winter approaches and conditions in the southern Indian Ocean gradually worsen, causing more difficulties to the search. During a handover Friday morning, Jinggangshan's crew briefed their replacements on the search operation and coordination, as well as current progress and weather conditions in the search area, Xinhua reported.
The Chinese navy has dispatched 10 ships to waters in the Gulf of Thailand, near Sumatra Island, and off Australia's southwestern, western and northwestern coasts, scouring more than 500,000 sq. km. Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur shortly after midnight March 8.
The Boeing 777-200ER was scheduled to land in Beijing the same morning. The 227 passengers on board included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.