The following is a combined report from Bachir Ouzani (via Rizal Shah) and Páll Arnar Þorsteinsson on the recent developments in the search for AirAsia.
A link to local media coverage in Indonesia is located at http://youtu.be/izPzlQC_aIw . The Gavia AUV and the AUV Team can be seen beginning at time mark 1:15. More photos from the site have been sent and will posted soon.
The weather is more of the same. It has been very windy and is poor weather to operate in. We did, however, get a small sense of accomplishment as we did locate sounds consistent with those that may be coming from the black boxes. Alfian and Wira (an official from BPBT) realized that it might be possible to get range and bearing from the black box pingers using the shipboard locator that was installed on the Java Imperia (Java Offshore owned vessel).
The system was reconfigured to detect a potential communication at 37.5khz (frequency of the black box pingers). The Java Imperia was then able to search for acoustic sounds in the range used by the pingers. During the search they detected some communication and did five verification lines at the site. They were able to narrow the area to a radius of 20m square. The previous location of any acoustic signals had only been narrowed down to 200x200m area.
The information was provided to the crew on the Baruna Jaya 1 (BPPT’s vessel), who would conduct a verification survey. The Teledyne Benthos acoustic pinger locator was provided for their use along with the coordinates for the target area producing sounds in the appropriate frequency range. Sounds were again received. The information was passed on to BASARNAS, and divers will be deployed to verify it.
Regrettably, this means that we will not get another chance to survey in the area. It was confirmed in the evening that we would be heading for shore. We demobilised at 16:00 in the afternoon and checked into Swiss-Belinn Hotel in Pangkalan Bun. The stay at the hotel should be two days before I head for Jakarta. From there it’s a flight back home to Iceland.
Editor's Note: We will find out tomorrow if the group is required for further service at the site as this story continues to develop.
|Author:||Páll Arnar Þorsteinsson|