HMS Echo to take on stores and keep up search for Malaysian Airlines missing plane MH370

HMS Echo
HMS Echo

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SAILORS involved in the search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 say they hope their efforts will bring comfort to the families of missing passengers.

Lieutenant Hal Magill, from Farlington, and Lieutenant Andrew Thomas, from Fareham, are both serving on board Royal Navy survey ship HMS Echo.

The Plymouth-based ship was diverted from its deployment to help search for the airliner, which disappeared on March 8, carrying 239 people.

HMS Echo has spent 60 days at sea, joining the international search effort in the South Indian Ocean, and is likely to soon call into an Australian port to replenish supplies before resuming the search and recovery patrols.

Lt Magill, 40, said: ‘Despite the sombre nature of our assignment, I feel privileged to be granted the opportunity to assist in hopefully bringing some closure to the families and loved ones of those involved.

‘I lead a team of engineers who have worked incredibly hard to ensure the engines have been running at full power in order to reach the search area in the shortest possible 
time.

‘At the same time, we have been checking and maintaining the survey equipment on board to allow us the best possible chance to find the aircraft flight data recorder.’

HMS Echo has a ship’s company of 81 sailors.

She was designed to carry out a range of survey work, including support to submarine and amphibious operations.

The ship was midway through an 18-month deployment when she was sent to help with the search efforts in the Indian Ocean.

By that time, she had visited Bahrain, Dubai, Oman, the Seychelles and the 
Maldives.