International vessels searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on Tuesday were unable to reacquire electronic pulse signals detected by search teams on Saturday and Sunday.
Even without the presence of the signals, which officials have described as consistent with pings transmitted by aircraft black boxes, divers and ships continued to search the southern Indian Ocean for any sign of debris from Flight MH370 on Tuesday. That may be their best hope, considering that the batteries of the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder were estimated to expire sometime on Monday.
Despite renewed hopes of finding Flight MH370 upon the official announcement by the Australian Joint Agency Coordination Center that pings consistent with aircraft black box pings were detected, officials say that the initial pings detected have yet to be verified as related to Flight MH370.
“It could take some days before the information is available to establish whether these detections can be confirmed as being from MH370. In very deep oceanic water, nothing happens fast,” head of the Australian Joint Agency Coordination Center, Angus Houston, said on Monday at a press conference.
While the signals detected by the towed pinger locator were able to narrow the search for the Boeing 777-200ER’s black boxes, reacquiring the signals initially detected is crucial to further narrowing the search area before the Bluefin 21 submersible robot can be deployed to map out the ocean floor. Houston said the Bluefin 21 would take “many, many days” to cover all the possible locations where the pings may have come from if it were deployed with currently available information, according to the Associated Press.
While the search goes on, families and friends of the 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board the missing Malaysian airliner continue to hold vigils, remaining hopeful that an explanation for the plane’s disappearance will be found.