AirAsia Recovery Attempt Two Fails As Strong Current Snaps Ropes

The second attempt at recovering the fuselage of the crashed AirAsia jetliner has failed due to a very strong current breaking the rope linking to lifting balloons. The recovery attempt was taking place on Sunday and the breaking of the rope caused the wreckage to sink back to the floor of the ocean yet again.

NBC News reported that Manahan Simoragkir, a Navy spokesman, said the strong current was the recovery’s biggest issue on Sunday. One end of the rope was fastened and linked to a ship while the other was around the fuselage. As they lifted it, the rope just broke.

“We could not fight against nature.”

On Saturday, the AirAsia recovery attempt failed due to the lifting balloons deflating. It was on Friday that divers reached the fuselage for the first time, and that is where many of the victims are still believed to be located.

Four more bodies were recovered on Saturday and one on Sunday, which brought the total to 70, per CNN.

Sunday’s attempt was more successful than the one on Saturday, and they appear to be closer to getting the fuselage raised. Suryadi B. Supriyadi, director of operations and training for Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, is hopeful.

“The fuselage appeared at the surface, but the rope broke and it fell down again.”

The AirAsia fuselage is a 13-meter (43-foot) pieces of wreckage, and officials are attempting to just get it to the water’s surface first. After that, the plan is to attempt to raise it out of the water and onto a waiting ship.


Aside from the strong currents, the recovery missions have been hampered by high waves, strong winds, and heavy rain. Navy divers have not been able to get in the water in many days due to nature taking over.

airasia flight path

The “black box” analysis from AirAsia QZ8501 is currently ongoing, and experts say they have already listened to the pilot and co-pilot’s conversation from the voice recorder in the cockpit. Analysis of all the data recorders for the preliminary report on the crash is now said to be at 90 percent complete.

More recovery attempts of the AirAsia fuselage will take place this week, with officials hoping that they can at least get it out of the water and onto the ship. From there, experts and analysts will take over in seeing what and who is inside before going any further.

[Images via CNN]