SINGAPORE - Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen has announced the end of SAF's search mission for AirAsia flight QZ8501 in a Facebook post today.
He said: "With the flight data and cockpit voice recorders recovered and the fuselage located, the BASARNAS (Indonesian search authority) Chief Mr Bambang Soelistyo has informed other countries that Indonesia would have its own resources for subsequent efforts, and thanked us for all our help."
Minister Ng added that MV Swift Rescue, the SAF's last ship in the Java Sea, has left for Singapore after participating for 20 days in the search operation. This concludes the SAF's involvement in the search for AirAsia flight QZ8501 and its passengers.
Besides thanking and commending SAF servicemen and women for a job well done, Minister Ng also offered condolences to all families of the victims of the tragic accident, on the behalf of SAF and fellow Singaporeans: "The final resting place of the plane has been found. May family members and loved ones of those departed find strength and comfort to recover from your great loss in the days ahead. Our prayers are with you in this time of grief."
On Jan 14, MV Swift Rescue found the fuselage of the AirAsia plane that crashed in the Java Sea on Dec 28. The ship's Autonomous Underwater Vehicle took photos of a wing and part of the wreckage. SAF informed the Indonesian search authority BASARNAS of the findings so it could recover the missing parts of the plane.
Currently, only 50 of 162 passengers' bodies have been recovered, and the search for more bodies continues.