MH370: Australian Prime Minister Talks Up Hunt for Missing Airliner

Ocean Shield deploys the Bluefin 21 underwater vehicle

Ocean Shield deploys the Bluefin 21 underwater vehicle
Official U.S. Navy Flickr Page [CC-BY-2.0]

Australia’s current Prime Minister Tony Abbott is not alone in courting international celebrity status. His predecessor Kevin Rudd loved a global audience. However, the PM’s recent foray into the politically dangerous waters of aircraft search and recovery has attracted many local cynics and critics.

The hunt for missing Malaysian airliner MH370 has been taking place in the ocean to the west of Perth. With the world’s media watching during his visit to China, Abbott gleefully announced on 12 April 2014 that:

We are confident that we know the position of the black box flight recorder to within some kilometres, but confidence in the approximate position of the black box is not the same as recovering wreckage from almost four-and-a-half kilometres beneath the sea.

The Chinese were particularly interested as the majority of the passengers are from China.

It was a big call that he seemed to backing away from when he spoke to the media on 28 April:

Many saw it as a back down:

Not afraid of some more hyperbole, the PM persevered at his media conference:

A thread soon emerged on twitter alleging an attempt to distract the local audience from damaging scandals concerning his own Liberal Party colleagues at the Independent Commission of Corruption [ICAC] in New South Wales. The resignation of the State Premier the previous week has been followed by more political heads rolling over money laundering.

Tony Abbott is prepared to put his money where his machismo is, but some think it’s a waste:

The search area is once again being widened, as the world watches with increasing disbelief:

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