SYDNEY - A mini-sub hunting for Malaysian jet MH370 aborted its first search of the remote Indian Ocean seabed after just six hours because the water was deeper than its operating limits, officials said Tuesday.
The unmanned submarine loaded with sonar to map the ocean floor deployed Monday night from the Australian ship Ocean Shield which has spearheaded the hunt for the Boeing 777 that vanished on March 8.
"After completing around six hours of its mission, Bluefin-21 exceeded its operating depth limit of 4,500 metres and its built in safety feature returned it to the surface," JACC said, without detailing the exact depth of operations.
"The six hours of data gathered by the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle is currently being extracted and analysed," JACC said.
The AUV had been due to spend up to 16 hours collecting data.