The Malaysian-contracted GO Phoenix has completed its contract as part of the underwater search fleet for the missing MH370 passenger jet.
According to the 24 June weekly update from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) charged with co-ordinating the search mission, the GO Phoenix left the search zone on 20 June and is on its way to Singapore.
The vessel, which was contracted by DRB-HICOM Defence Technologies for the Malaysian government, is expected to arrive about 30 June, whereupon it will be demobilised from search activities, ATSB announced.
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No vessels remain in the search area at present. The Fugro Discovery is currently undergoing routine resupply operations in Fremantle, where the Fugro Equator will shortly join it to resupply. The Fugro Supporter has withdrawn from the fleet for the winter as it is unable to operate the autonomous underwater vehicle in the current rough seas.
Search operations will otherwise continue over the winter months, as long as weather holds, before moving further north into more temperate conditions in the expanded search zone the ATSB reported.
More than 50,000 km² of seafloor as been searched to date of the 120,000 km² expanded search zone.
Last month ATSB announced that if nothing was uncovered in the new search area over the coming year, the search would end.
“We are committed to searching the 120,000 km² search area,” an ATSB spokesperson told IHS Maritime, “but unless we find some clue, like a piece of wreckage from the missing plane, then we will not be extending it further.”