As the ninth underwater search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 begins, authorities have yet to find any signs of the wreckage, prompting further speculation that the search may be altered later this week.
The autonomous underwater vehicle, Bluefin-21, has so far searched about two-thirds of the focused underwater search area – a 10km radius around the second towed pinger locator detection from April 8 – with no significant results.
Up to 10 military aircraft and 11 ships are assisting in Monday’s search, covering about 49,491 square kilometres, about 1741 kilometres northwest of Perth.
But weather conditions are deteriorating, particularly in the north of the search area as Tropical Cyclone Jack tracks south, and widespread showers are developing with isolated thunderstorms.
Australian ambassador to the US Kim Beazley said private contractors and more underwater search vehicles could soon be used in the search.
The idea was previously flagged by Prime Minister Tony Abbott that if the plane was not found in the Indian Ocean by mid-week, searchers would stop and reconsider tactics.
The air search might be adjusted, Mr Beazley told CNN’s Sunday morning political program, State of the Union with Candy Crowley.
But, when you say you are going to reconsider all things, obviously that is one of the things you’re going to consider.
You may well also consider bringing in other underwater search equipment.
All of these sorts of things will be on the table if nothing is found in the next few days.
The Boeing 777 vanished en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8 with 239 people on board.