The protracted search for missing Flight MH370 was boosted yesterday with the arrival of a British nuclear submarine in the Indian Ocean, ahead of a visit to Australia by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The personal jet of Oscar-winning New Zealand movie director Peter Jackson is also now reportedly being used in the multinational hunt for the plane that vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board.
Despite extensive scouring of remote Indian Ocean waters by planes and ships south-west of Perth where Malaysia believes the jet went down, nothing has been found so far that would indicate a crash site.
"No significant developments to report," the Australian Maritime Safety Authority tweeted after 10 planes returned from flying sorties on Tuesday evening in a now familiar update on drawing a blank, AFP reported.
Ten planes and nine ships resumed the hunt yesterday despite the authorities warning that broken cloud, sea fog and isolated thunderstorms would reduce visibility.
But in a boost to the search effort, Britain's Royal Navy said the first submarine in the operation, HMS Tireless, has arrived in the area and "her advanced underwater search capability will be able to contribute to the attempts to locate the missing plane".
Britain's HMS Echo is also due in the search zone shortly to assist Australia's Ocean Shield naval vessel, which is fitted with a US-supplied black box detector and is expected to arrive tomorrow.
Jackson, the director of the "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" movies, has personally approved the use of his Gulfstream G650 in the search, Radio New Zealand said.
His spokesman reportedly said the company that operates the long-range aircraft had chartered it to Australian authorities.
Australia has warned against expectations of quick success in the difficult task of recovering the black box from the deep and vast seas.
Retired Australian air chief marshal Angus Houston, who is heading a new coordination centre in Perth, reiterated yesterday that the odds were stacked against them.
Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said a three-week-old criminal investigation into what caused the flight to veer far from its intended route between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing had so far been inconclusive.
In a sober assessment likely to disappoint anxious family members of the missing passengers, he said police have taken more than 170 statements so far but still need to interview more.
"Give us more time," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur, according to Dow Jones Newswires. "We may not even know the real cause of this incident."
This article was published on April 3 in The New Paper.
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