Search operations suspended for today due to adverse weather: Update 16
Due to rough seas, HMAS Success departed the search area early this morning and is now in transit south of the search area until seas abate. A sea state ranging between 7 to 8 is forecast today with waves up to two metres and an associated swell of up to four metres.
The area is also forecast to experience strong gale force winds of up to 80km/h, periods of heavy rain, and low cloud with a ceiling between 200 and 500 feet.
AMSA has undertaken a risk assessment and determined that the current weather conditions would make any air and sea search activities hazardous and pose a risk to crew. Therefore, AMSA has suspended all sea and air search operations for today due to these weather conditions.
AMSA has consulted with the Bureau of Meteorology and weather conditions are expected to improve in the search area in the evening and over the next few days. Search operations are expected to resume tomorrow, if weather conditions permit.
HMAS Success will return to the search area once weather conditions improve.
Last night, HMAS Success attempted to locate objects sighted by a RAAF P3 Orion aircraft. The objects were spotted visually in the search area by the RAAF P3 Orion about 2.45pm (AEDT).
Drift modelling was undertaken to assist search efforts. HMAS Success was unable to relocate the objects.
In light of the statement by the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak overnight, AMSA offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the passengers and crew of flight MH370.
AMSA intends to recommence search activities for any signs of the aircraft once weather conditions improve in the search area.