September 05, 2011 14:02
The government will deploy elite divers from the Navy Ship Salvage Unit and deep sea divers from the Japanese Navy to search for the black box of an Asiana cargo plane that crashed off the coast of Jeju Island in July.
A Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs official said on Sunday, "We're conducting operations to salvage parts of the aircraft from the ocean, but the water is very murky and the currents are strong, making it impossible to recover the plane." The official added if Navy SSU divers cannot accomplish the mission, it will ask the Japanese Navy for assistance.
According to the ministry, the waters 130 km west of Jeju International Airport where the cargo plane crashed and sunk 80 m are notoriously difficult for search operations. Workers are using robots to loop ropes around pieces of debris to lift them out of the water, but the swift currents are causing the ropes to slip off. That is why the government is seeking to deploy deep sea divers.
Divers can approach depths of up to 34 m with conventional gear, but specialized equipment must be used in deeper waters due to high pressures. The government is considering deploying six deep sea divers.
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