Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Continues But Time Is Running Out

This past weekend brought a glimmer of hope in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. After a Chinese ship detected a pulse signal from the Indian Ocean, it was determined that the signal matched that from the airline's black box. Everyone breathed a (small) sigh of relief because -- finally -- rescue teams could at the very least narrow down their search area from one that was the "size of Texas" to one the "size of Houston." After nearly a month during which the plane's disappearance has been shrouded in mystery, any news is good news at this point.

But the underwater pulses that got everyone excited have not been heard since the weekend. Investigators are quickening the pace of the search because, they say, time is running out.

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The black box, which sends out locator beacons when a plane crashes into water, runs on battery power. Experts say the battery only lasts about 30 days -- and today marks one month since Flight 370 vanished. When the beacon turns off, it becomes very difficult -- and maybe impossible -- to locate the black box, considering how it's submerged in deep water.

Even though the clock is ticking for investigators, all hope is not lost. Though it isn't the norm, some say the black box battery could last longer than 30 days and can even keep going for several weeks. Additionally, the signal that was detected this past weekend was also lost for awhile before it was picked up again. It isn't out of the realm of possibility that rescue teams will locate the beacon once again.

The poor families of the passengers who were on board Flight 370 must be emotionally exhausted at this point. It seems every few days they receive information that lifts up their spirits -- just days ago they were told there may be survivors -- only to have their hopes shot down the next day. They deserve and need closure, and I hope investigators are able to quickly retrieve the plane's black box and start piecing together exactly what happened on that horrific day.

Do you think investigators will be able to find the black box in time?

 

Image via Sean MacEntee/Flickr

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