Radlett sailor joins search for missing MH370

HMS Echo joins search for missing MH370 in southern Indian Ocean. Photo courtesy Royal Navy

HMS Echo joins search for missing MH370 in southern Indian Ocean. Photo courtesy Royal Navy - Credit: Photo courtesy Royal Navy

As scouring of the southern Indian Ocean for wreckage from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 nears the end of its fifth week, a Radlett sailor has joined the international search.

Radlett sailor Surg Lt Elizabeth Ashley joins search for missing MH370 in southern Indian Ocean. Pho

Radlett sailor Surg Lt Elizabeth Ashley joins search for missing MH370 in southern Indian Ocean. Photo courtesy Royal Navy - Credit: Photo courtesy Royal Navy

Royal Navy survey ship HMS Echo, where surgeon Lieutenant Elizabeth Ashley is based, has been redeployed from the Middle East to help look for the missing airliner.

The 27 year old has welcomed the chance to join the large-scale operation.

She said: “I hope we are able to give the relatives of all those on flight MH370 some answers at this difficult time.”

HMS Echo, a Plymouth-based vessel, was mid-way through an 18-month deployment and had visited Bahrain, Dubai, Oman, the Seychelles and the Maldives, when she was told to join the search effort.


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After 60 consecutive days at sea, the ship is likely to call into an Australian port to replenish supplies before resuming search and recovery patrols in the Indian Ocean.

Surg Lt Ashley, who attended Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls before graduating from Cambridge University, said she joined the navy to practice medicine away from the standard hospital environment.

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HMS Echo carries out a wide range of survey work through collection of oceanographic and bathymetric - analysis of the ocean, its salinity and sound profile - data.

The ship will be joining crews from the Royal Australian Navy.

Today (Friday) Leading Seaman Boatswains Mate Luke Horsburgh from HMAS Success, an Australian supply ship, said the crew had been working hard on the “important operation”.

He added: “Even when we are not on watch, the crew are on the upper decks searching for anything that might be of interest, but it can be tricky identifying what might be important from what’s just a piece of junk.

“It’s great working with other countries. Everyone is pitching in for something so important, particularly to the families of the people on board the flight.”

The search for the ill-fated Malaysian flight has switched to a possible southern corridor.

In a recent statement, Malaysia Airlines said it was, “cautiously hopeful there will be positive developments in the next few days”.

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