News / Asia

Unmanned Sub Deployed in Search for Missing Jet

  • A woman walks past graffiti of Flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur, April 15, 2014.
  • Crew aboard the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield move the U.S. Navy's Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle into position in the southern Indian Ocean to look for Flight MH370, April 14, 2014. (US NAVY)
  • Co-pilot and Squadron Leader Brett McKenzie looks from the cockpit of a Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft as they fly over the southern Indian Ocean, to continue the search for Flight MH370, April 13, 2014.
  • The Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Perth is guided into position by a Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft as the search continues for Flight MH370, April 13, 2014.
  • People take part in a special prayer for passengers onboard Flight MH370, at Kechara retreat center in Bentong, outside Kuala Lumpur, April 13, 2014.
  • A Naval aircrewman unloads a Sonobuoy from a rack onboard a P-8A Poseidon during a search mission to locate Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean, in this U.S. Navy handout photo taken April 10, 2014.
  • The daughter of a Chinese passenger on Flight MH370 shows her mobile phone displaying a photo of her father, near the wall displaying messages of wishes for the passengers at a hotel in Beijing, April 11, 2014.
  • Relatives of passengers on Flight MH370 wait for news outside a conference room at a hotel in Beijing, April 8, 2014.
The Search for Flight MH370
VOA News
The head of the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 said an Australian ship will deploy an unmanned mini-sub "as soon as possible" to determine if signals detected by sound-locating equipment were from the missing jet.

Angus Houston, who heads Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Center, said Monday that the Ocean Shield will stop towing a U.S. Navy ping locator and launch the underwater vehicle Bluefin 21 later in the day.

Houston told a news conference in Perth, "We haven't had a single detection in six days, so I guess it's time to go underwater."

The small sub will use sonar to chart any debris in the search for the plane's flight recorders on the floor of the Indian Ocean.

Houston also said an oil slick was found in the area Sunday evening, but it would be several days before the oil could be tested for its origin.

Authorities have warned that investigators will have lost their chief means of detection when the flight recorder transmitter batteries lose power. Those batteries are designed to operate for 30 days - possibly a little longer. The plane disappeared 38 days ago.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott continues to sound notes of caution, stressing that trying to find anything nearly five kilometers below the surface of the Indian Ocean a thousand kilometers from land is a huge task that will not likely end any time soon.

The Boeing 777 with 239 people on board disappeared March 8 during a scheduled flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Two-thirds of those on board were Chinese nationals.

A leading Malaysian newspaper has said investigators probing the plane's disappearance suspect the co-pilot attempted to make a cell-phone call after the jetliner deviated from its original course.

The pro-government New Straits Times has said investigators believe the call ended abruptly after the phone made contact with a communications tower, as the jetliner flew at low altitude northwest of the island of Penang. The newspaper said its sources declined to reveal who the caller was trying to reach.

Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has cast doubt on the report, telling reporters he would have been informed about such a call if it had taken place.

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs