This page will be updated with news regarding the search for the black boxes. Last updated 1:31 p.m.
The Emeraude, a French nuclear submarine, reached the Air France Flight 447 search site Wednesday to aid in the hunt for the missing plane’s cockpit recorders.
French military officials said the sub started surveying waters near the suspected crash site of‚ Wednesday morning.
France also sent two boats towing approximately 40 tons of recovery equipment, a surveillance ship, and the Nautile, a mini sub that will be sent to the ocean’s floor in case the black boxes are retrieved, CNN reports.
Plane debris was spotted about 600 miles of the coast of Brazil’s Fernando de Noronha islands, which are in turn a 200 miles north-east of Brazil’s coast. It is here the sub will begin its search.
French military spokesman Captain Christophe Prazuck said the Emeraude will be able to cover about 13 square miles of ocean every day. While traversing tough waters, the ship will actively be searching for the downed plane using advanced radar equipment.
To help locate the emergency beacons attached to the flight’s data recorders, two French vessels will be outfitted with two high-tech U.S. acoustic search devices. The devices can detect emergency beacons emitting from up to 20,000 feet underwater. The average depth of the immensely large search area (77,220 square miles) is about 9,900 feet.
The first ship was outfitted with one device Wednesday. The second ship set to carry the other device won’t arrive until next week, CBC reports.
“There are big uncertainties about the accident site, the ocean floor is rugged… so it’s going to be very difficult”¦it’s going to be very complicated and we’re going to need a lot of luck” Prazuck told French radio, BBC reports.
The emergency beacons attached to the flight’s data recorders will only transmit a signal for about 20 more days.
If French searchers are able to locate the recorders, the Nautile, the same ship that explored the wreckage of the sunken Titanic, will be sent to down to recover them.
All wreckage will be taken back to France for investigation. All bodies found, of which there are currently 41, will be shipped back to Recife, Brazil for investigation and identification.