The pings heard last Saturday and Sunday by an Australian and a Chinese ship have not been relocated in the southern Indian Ocean during the race against time to find Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Australian officials told reporters Tuesday. The Boeing 777 vanished from radar on March 8 with 239 people on board. It left Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and was headed to Beijing, China.
The batteries are certified to last 30 days to send signals or pings from the plane’s data and communications boxes.
“We know the batteries can last up to 40 days,” retired Royal Air Force Lt. Colonel Michael Kay told CNN.
“We need to continue….for several days right up to a point which there’s absolutely no doubt that the pinger batteries will have expired,” said retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who heads the Australian agency coordinating the search.
Australia’s Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss said the crew on the Ocean Shield, will launch the Bluefin 21, an unmanned submarine on Tuesday. The submarine has equipment that can draw a sonar map to find debris on the ocean floor.
The round-the-clock search continues with 14 planes and 14 ships scouring an area about the size of Houston, Texas in the Indian Ocean – a search zone approximately 1,400 miles northwest of Perth, Australia, CNN reports.
Information from USA Today also was used in this report.