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Underwater search for MH370 completes mission 18

IANS  |  Canberra 

The autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Bluefin-21 Friday completed mission 18 in search for missing Airlines flight MH370, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said.

The ship Ocean Shield is now en route to Fleet Base West to replenish supplies and personnel and will then return to the vicinity of its current search area for search operation with the Bluefin-21, according to the JACC.

"Earlier this week, HMAS Toowoomba and MV Seahorse Standard returned to port while HMAS Success is continuing to steam towards Sydney and HMAS Perth is redeploying to operations in northern Australia," Xinhua quoted the JACC as saying.

The Malaysian frigate KD Lekiu has also been re-supplying in port, while the Malaysian supply vessel Bunga Mas is remaining in the search area with a number of Chinese vessels, it added.

The last of the air search fleet, the two Chinese IL-76 aircraft, are due to depart Perth International Airport Saturday.

One Australian AP-3C Orion remains on standby to assist with search operations, according the JACC.

Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur shortly after midnight March 8.

The Boeing 777-200ER was scheduled to land in Beijing the same morning. The 227 passengers on board included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.

First Published: Fri, May 02 2014. 18:30 IST