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Truss announces MH370 survey deep water contractor – Fugro

Warren Truss announced this morning [6th August 2014] Fugro Survey was nominated, together with the Chinese and Malaysian Navy being also involved. These organisations have mapped the sea floor, which will be used in the towed sonar search. [Previous statement]

Contract is to search for and to map a located debris field.

Fugro are using 2 vessels with deep towed units and side looking sonar radar. The Fugro company are Dutch based, with a base in Perth. As this is a towed operation, the information is available instantly to the vessel.

The actual methodology has not been fully determined, but the search area is 80 by 1500km in size.

The aim, Mr. Truss says is to find the wreckage in the most prospective area that MH370 disappeared into and what was the fate of MH370.

The sea-floor is 4800m in the north to 1500m to the south, rising towards the south, with major rises and valleys that will be likely to hide the wreckage.

Costs have been set away at over $85m, with Australia providing the majority of the money.

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TRUSS Statement:

 Contractor Announced for MH370 Underwater Search

Media Release

WT130/2014

06 August 2014

Today Australia, Malaysia and China jointly announced that Australia has awarded a contract to Fugro Survey Pty Ltd (Fugro) to conduct a search of the southern Indian Ocean sea floor for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Fugro will use two vessels, equipped with towed deep water vehicles and carrying expert personnel, to undertake the search operations.

The vessels will search the sea floor using side scan sonar, multi-beam echo sounders and video cameras to locate and identify the aircraft debris.

The underwater search of the 60,000 square kilometre area is still expected to take up to 12 months to complete. Assets are already mobilising with Fugro Discovery en route to Perth from the United Kingdom.

Fugro Equator, currently acquiring bathymetry data in the search area, will be the second search vessel and will be mobilised when the bathymetry work is complete in mid-September.

The Malaysian Government has committed to support the joint search effort with four vessels. The KD MUTIARA, a naval survey ship will be arriving in late August to join the bathymetric survey work.

Two vessels equipped with side scan sonar and remotely operated vehicles will be integrated into the overall capability for the underwater search being led by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

Malaysian naval vessel, Bunga Mas, will continue to support the search, as it has since April.

The Chinese vessel, the Zhu Kezhen, continues to work in the southern Indian Ocean, surveying the sea floor. China has committed to the Zhu Kezhen remaining in the search area until mid-September.