Keighley sailor Ryan aids plane hunt

Able Seaman Ryan Smith is helping in the hunt for missing Malaysian Airways flight MH370

Able Seaman Ryan Smith is helping in the hunt for missing Malaysian Airways flight MH370

First published in News by

A sailor from Keighley has been involved in the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight.

Able Seaman Ryan Smith serves on the Royal Navy survey ship HMS Echo which was this month redeployed to assist in the search.

The former South Craven School student is part of the hydrographic and meteorological team on the ship.

HMS Echo had been carrying out survey work in the Middle East before receiving instructions to join the international search effort in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Able Seaman Smith, who grew up in Keighley and joined the Royal Navy in 2010, said he felt privileged to be part of the search operation.

He said: “As part of the hydrographic branch one of my jobs will be to monitor the survey equipment for signs of the flight deck recorder (black box).

“I hope we can find some answers for the friends and family of those on flight MH370.”

The airliner disappeared on March 8, carrying 239 people, while travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

At the time it was re-tasked, HMS Echo was midway through an 18-month deployment that has included visits to Bahrain, Dubai, Oman, the Seychelles and the Maldives.

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

The ship, like the other survey vessels in the Royal Navy, is operated using a three-watch manning system. She has a ship’s company of 81, split into three watches, two of which will be on board at any time, allowing the ship to remain on duty 330 days a year.

Echo was designed to carry out a wide range of survey work including support to submarine and amphibious operations through analysis of the ocean, its salinity and sound profile.

Echo is also equipped to support mine warfare and amphibious operations. She is equipped with weapons and can carry a small detachment of Royal Marines.

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