AirAsia QZ8501: Singapore's search efforts now focus on underwater

AirAsia QZ8501: Singapore's search efforts now focus on underwater

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has deployed more assets to support underwater search for AirAsia QZ8501's wreckage parts, such as its black box and main fuselage.

Search efforts which began on the surface of the sea have moved to the underwater phase.

A government statement, accompanied by infographics on SAF deployment, said the MV Swift Rescue vessel is deploying a remotely operated vehicle, while RSS Kallang is assisting with its underwater sensors and another remotely operated vehicle.

In addition, an autonomous underwater vehicle team is operating from RSS Persistence.

Today, the fifth Republic of Navy ship arrived at the search zone, fulfilling all of SAF's commitments to assist regional search efforts.

The Bedok-class mine countermeasure vessel (MCMV) RSS Kallang will focus on underwater search operations, said the statement.

It also added that Singapore's Victory-class missile corvette RSS Valour, which has been focusing on surface search efforts, is returing to Singapore as part of the SAF's rotational plan and considering the shift in focus to search efforts underwater.

To date, the Singapore Armed Forces has contributed more than 400 SAF personnel, two C-130 aircraft, two Super Puma helicopters, five navy ships and a 6-man Autonomous Underwater Vehicle team.

The two C-130s, RSS Supreme and RSS Valour were the first to be dispatched to aid in the search operations.

In addition to utilising the ships' surveillance and navigation radar, and electro-optic sensor system, the deployed air force and navy men and women also scanned the surface of the waters for debris of QZ8501, and for any missing passengers and crew.

Two Fast Craft Utility and two Super Puma helicopters from RSS Persistence subsequently also joined in the search.

chenj@sph.com.sg

 

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