AirAsia flight QZ8501: Singapore concludes search operation with return of MV Swift Rescue

Sailors on board MV Swift Rescue during the search for QZ8501 on Jan 7, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Sailors on board MV Swift Rescue during the search for QZ8501 on Jan 7, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and members of the search operation observing a minute of silence for the victims of the AirAsia crash.-- PHOTO: NG ENG HEN/FACEBOOK
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and members of the search operation observing a minute of silence for the victims of the AirAsia crash.-- PHOTO: NG ENG HEN/FACEBOOK
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen welcoming Senior Lieutenant Colonel Chow Khim Chong, the commander of the task group for underwater search operations.-- PHOTO: NG ENG HEN/FACEBOOK
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen welcoming Senior Lieutenant Colonel Chow Khim Chong, the commander of the task group for underwater search operations.-- PHOTO: NG ENG HEN/FACEBOOK
Lowering the gangway after the MV Swift Rescue returned to Changi Naval Base after 20 days at sea.-- PHOTO: NG ENG HEN/FACEBOOK
Lowering the gangway after the MV Swift Rescue returned to Changi Naval Base after 20 days at sea.-- PHOTO: NG ENG HEN/FACEBOOK
The MV Swift Rescue returning to Changi Naval Base after 20 days at sea. -- PHOTO: NG ENG HEN/FACEBOOK
The MV Swift Rescue returning to Changi Naval Base after 20 days at sea. -- PHOTO: NG ENG HEN/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - After 20 days at sea, the ship that found the fuselage of the downed AirAsia plane is back in Singapore, concluding the Republic's efforts at helping Indonesia search for the remains of the plane.

The Republic of Singapore Navy ship, MV Swift Rescue, with 70 men and women onboard, arrived at Changi Naval Base on Sunday and was received by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. He was accompanied by chief of Defence force Ng Chee Meng and navy chief Lai Chung Han.

The arrival of MV Swift Rescue marks the official end of Singapore's efforts in the multi nation search operation,which started on Dec 28 when AirAsia plane lost radar contact with Indonesia's air traffic control towers.

Since then, the SAF has deployed more than 400 personnel, two RSAF C-130 aircraft, two Super Puma helicopters, five navy ships and a six-man Autonomous Underwater Vehicle team in the operation.

Many of those who had contributed to the search were also present for MV Swift Rescue's homecoming. As a mark of respect, they observed a minute of silence for those who died in the flight.

Dr Ng thanked the servicemen and women for their efforts and for making a difference in the multi nation search operations.

 

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Dr Ng said he was satisfied with their performance amid the rough seas and bad weather.

"They were very proficient, it was over a holiday season (yet) they responded as they should as soldiers, they went out, did their jobs...put in their full efforts for every task assigned."

MV Swift Rescue, which discovered the main wreckage of the AirAsia plane last Wednesday, left the debris field off Kalimantan two days later, after Indonesia said it would carry on the search for the rest of the plane on its own.