MH370: Malaysia to issue death certificates
The Malaysian government prepares to issue death certificates for passengers of missing flight MH370 as some families cling to the hope their loved ones are alive.PT1M28S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-36z9p 620 349 April 21, 2014
The Bluefin-21 underwater drone has passed the halfway mark on its sonar scan of just over 300 square kilometres of Indian Ocean seabed in the search for the lost MH370 plane.
The US autonomous underwater vehicle is scouring a patch of the sea floor in a 10-kilometre radius from where a Royal Australian Navy crew believes it heard electronic "pings" from the MH370's black box.
The Bluefin-21 completed its seventh dive on Sunday but had found nothing as of late in the day. It is on track to finish searching the area within about another five days, weather permitting.
The Bluefin 21, the Artemis autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), is hoisted back on board the Ocean Shield.
Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein described the search as being at a "very critical juncture".
"I appeal for everybody around the world to pray and pray hard that we find something to work on," he said on Saturday.
The Boeing 777 vanished on March 8 – more than six weeks ago – carrying 239 people, including six Australians.
The current best hope to solve what has become one of history's most baffling aviation mysteries is the US Navy underwater drone, the Bluefin-21, which is being launched from the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield.
The submersible uses a technology called side-scan sonar, which is building up a picture of the seabed at a depth of about 4500 metres.
Mr Hussein added: "We have pursued every possible lead presented to us at this stage and with every passing day, the search has become more difficult."
He said some adjustments to the search may be made, including "widening the scope of the search and using other assets that could be relevant in the search operation".