Multinational teams searching for the missing Malaysian plane in the Indian Ocean today injected fresh momentum into their efforts to locate the jet, as its black box’s battery was left with just three days of power.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, whose government has come under fire for the handling of the probe into the mysterious disappearance of the flight MH370, on Thursday visited an Australian military base coordinating the search operations.
Up to eight planes and nine ships were involved in the search for the plane, as a nuclear-powered British submarine on Thursday joined the near-four week hunt that has so far failed to find any sign of the missing airliner.
Malaysian authorities believe Flight MH370 crashed in the ocean when it ran out of fuel hours after vanishing under mysterious circumstances on March 8 with 239 people on board.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the hunt for the plane is the most difficult in human history and there is no guarantee that it would be found.
“We cannot be certain of ultimate success in the search for MH370,” Abbott said at a news briefing, standing alongside Najib.
“This is most probably the most difficult search ever undertaken…but I can assure people that the best brains in the world are working on this,” he said.
“But we can be certain that we will spare no effort — that we will not rest – until we have done everything we humanly can.”
Najib met search crews at Pearce RAAF base, before their planes left for Thursday’s search in the southern Indian Ocean.
“I’m very confident we will indeed show what we can do together as a group of nations; that we want to find answers, that we want to provide comfort to the families and we will not rest until answers are indeed found,” Najib said.
Najib thanked Australia and officials involved in search operations of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane that disappeared en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8 with 239 people, including five Indians, on board.
The two leaders were also updated on the search operations at the air base while meeting the personnel coordinating the search.
Former Australian Defence Force head Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who is coordinating the search, told the two leaders that the search zones are continually being moved.
“I want to assure you Australia is doing everything it can,” Houston, who is leading the new Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) for the search, told Najib.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority has determined a search area of about 223,000 square kilometres, 1680 kilometres west north-west of Perth.