Singapore, US Leave AirAsia QZ8501 Search Operations
January 15, 2015 20:18 PM
JAKARTA, Jan 15 (Bernama) -- Singaporean and US ships that have joined Indonesia in the search of AirAsia flight QZ8501, will end the mission on Thursday, Indonesia's Antara news agency reported here today.
"The Singaporean and US ships will leave the SAR operations tomorrow (Jan 15)," Head of the National SAR Agency (Basarnas) Bambang Soelistyo said here on Wednesday evening.
The number of foreign ships that have joined the SAR efforts, has gradually decreased since Jan 9.
However, the Chinese ship will continue to assist the search efforts.
"The Chinese ship has just joined the mission since few days ago here. Besides, they are coming from far area. Thus, I maintain the fleet to assist the SAR operations," Antara quoted Soelistyo as saying.
Previously, Japanese ships consisting of JS Ohnami and JS Takanami under the Sixth Division of Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force, have left the mission.
Russian ships and a Singaporean ship have also returned home after evacuating debris and some victims of AirAsia QZ8501 several days ago.
An aircraft from South Korea left on Monday and two Malaysian ships went home on Tuesday, Antara said.
Soelistyo said the termination of assistance from foreign countries was underway because the assistance needed by the agency has decreased.
The termination was done in order to maintain the efficiency of the search operations, he added.
"Officially, we would like to express our gratitude to those countries helping us so far," Soelistyo said.