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Timeline of major search efforts for missing Malaysian plane

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-03-11 02:09

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 departed at 00:41 a.m. local time Saturday morning from Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur and was due to land in Beijing at 6: 30 a.m. the same day, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew. Contract with the Boeing 777-200ER was lost at 1:20 a.m. when it was believed to be flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in Vietnam.

Following is a timeline of major multinational search and rescue efforts after the jetliner disappeared from radar screens:


-- Vietnam sent its rescue ship SAR 413 and one AN 26 aircraft to its waters where the plane was presumed to have crashed to help search for the plane.

-- Malaysian authorities dispatched a plane, two helicopters and four vessels to search seas off its east coast in the South China Sea.

-- China's Ministry of Transport sent two rescue vessels, " South China Sea Rescue 101" carrying 50 rescuers and facilities such as a maritime helicopter and sonar systems, and "South China Sea Rescue 115" to the search and rescue site.

-- Singapore sent a C130 Hercules aircraft for the search and locate mission.

-- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) mobilized its naval assets, including the BRP Del Pilar (PF 15), BRP Jacinto (PS 35), and BRP Mabini (PS 36) along with a surveillance plane to conduct search operations in some areas in South China Sea and the sealanes of western Philippine province of Palawan.

-- The U.S. Navy dispatched a warship to assist in the search. The USS Pinckney, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, carries two helicopters equipped for search and rescue. The United States also sent an Orion aircraft based in Okinawa, Japan bringing long-range search, radar and communications capabilities to the search mission.

-- Thailand said the Thai navy was prepared to send three vessels and one aircraft to join the search and rescue mission.

--- Vietnam sent three warships, a coast guard ship and other vessels to an area for an overnight search operation where two suspected oil slicks were detected.


-- Chinese rescue vessel "Tai Shun Hai" of China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company arrived at the search site at 9 a.m. and started searching.

-- Chinese coast guard vessel "China Coast Guard 3411" at around 1:30 p.m. reached waters in the vicinity of the search and rescue site. As of 7:00 p.m., it covered a 200 square km area but no suspected target had been found.

-- The Chinese navy dispatched two warships, Mianyang and Jinggangshan, to help in the search mission with medical equipment and materials on board. Two helicopters with the Nanhai Fleet joined Jinggangshan on its way for the search.

-- Two transport aircraft of Vietnam's Ministry of Defense headed for the suspected crash sea area in the morning to search for the missing plane. The first AN 26 aircraft took off at 7:00 a. m. local time from southern Tan Son Nhat international airport while the second took off at 7:23 a.m. local time.

-- Two warships sent by the Chinese navy -- Destroyer Haikou and amphibious landing ship Kunlunshan -- set off at about 4:00 p. m. with a 50-strong marine corps as well as assault boats and rubber dinghies aboard.

-- The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) deployed more assets to assist in the search-and-locate operation, including two more C- 130 aircraft, a Formidable-class frigate (RSS Steadfast) with a Sikorsky S-70B naval helicopter onboard, a submarine support and rescue vessel with divers onboard, as well as a Missile Corvette ( RSS Vigour).

-- Indonesia engaged five navy vessels and a maritime surveillance plane to assist in search for the missing plane, which will focus their efforts in Malacca Strait and Penang.

-- Vietnam said it has sent 17 aircraft, 35 ships of all kinds of Vietnam's Air Force, Navy, Maritime Police and Border Guard to the areas where suspicious oil slicks were found.

-- Australia announced its air force will send two P-3C aircraft to join the hunt for the missing aircraft. The first RAAF P-3C long-range maritime surveillance aircraft would leave for the search from Australia's northern city of Darwin at night.

-- Thai navy sent a vessel to help find the missing plane, which is expected to arrive near the Langkawi Island in Malaysia at 2:00 a.m. Monday. Thai Prime Minister's Secretary General Suranand Vejjajiva said an aircraft will also be sent on Monday morning.

-- Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung ordered its entire search and rescue team to work around the clock to search for the missing plane.


-- Chinese warship Mianyang arrived at around 3:50 a.m. at the waters suspected to be the site of the missing jetliner, and started rescue operations upon arrival.

-- A Thai navy boat conducted the search and rescue mission near Langkawi and Perlis islands in the Andaman Sea but failed to find anything.

-- Vietnam sent aircraft to check up if a lifeboat-like floating object found at sea comes from the missing jet. Searches were conducted about 140 km (90 miles) southwest of Tho Chu island, which is located about 200 km off the coast of southern Vietnam.

-- A Chinese search vessel equipped with searchlights, search radar and night vision goggles and capable of search and rescue at night was to arrive in the evening at the site where the Malaysian jet lost contact.

-- A working group sent by the Chinese government arrived in Malaysia for handling the aftermath of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight. The 13-member group is composed of officials with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation Administration of China ( CAAC).

-- Vietnam's search and rescue teams will move the focus of their search toward the eastern part of the air route of the missing jetliner and widen their search by some 20,000 km from Tuesday.

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