Winter won't affect MH370 search, says Malaysia transport minister

Winter won't affect MH370 search, says Malaysia transport minister
A crew member from the Royal Malaysian Air Force during a Search and Rescue operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
PHOTO: Reuters

PETALING JAYA - Winter in the southern hemisphere will not affect the search for the missing MH370 aircraft as the two ships involved in the mission - Fugro Equator and Fugro Discovery - have undergone the "winterisation" process, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

In a statement yesterday, Liow said the search would continue unabated with the winterisation process in place.

"In addition, search operations over the coming weeks will be focused in the south of the search area to capitalise on the last few moments of better weather in that area prior to the onset of conti­nuous poor weather during winter," he said, adding that safety of the search crew remained a priority.

Winter in the southern hemisphere starts this month and ends in September, and winterisation is applicable to all ships and offshore structures operating in sub-zero temperatures, regardless of whether sea ice is present.

The preparations are meant to ensure safe operation of ship, onboard equipment and handling by the crew.

Liow said both ships would be deployed for the second phase of the search upon completion of the current 60,000sq km search area, and that the search and recovery teams faced exceptional challenges.

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