Fugro Discovery Towfish collides with mud volcano during MH370 flight search operation
An underwater sonar vehicle towfish, attached to the ship Fugro Discovery, ran aground in the southern expanse of the Indian ocean after hitting a submerged mud volcano.
The fleet was part of an operation launched by the Australian Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC) to scourge for the wreckage of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The flight with 239 passengers and crew on-board disappeared in March 2014. It is thought to have crashed following its disappearance from the radar.
A statement issued by JACC stated: "The towfish collided with a mud volcano which rises 2,200m from the sea floor resulting in the vehicle's tow cable breaking.
"The towfish and 4,500m of cable became separated from the vessel and are now resting on the sea floor."
The $1m vessel is believed to have been submerged to a level of 2,600m.
However, the Australian officials have confirmed that nobody was injured in the incident and have stated that the recovery of the sunken vessel will be underway which might involve a crane and an unmanned underwater vehicle.
The towfish was fitted with a side scan sonar multi-beam echo sounders to track man-made objects underwater.
Fugro Discovery has started its journey back to Fremantle where a replacement cable will be installed on the vessel.
A spare towfish will be readied to be deployed in the operation on board Fugro Discovery.