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Underwater Search for Flight 370 Underway

(PERTH, Australia) -- An underwater search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has begun.

Australian Air Chief Marshal Angus Hines announced Friday morning that two ships from the Royal Australian Navy and British Royal Navy have “commenced a sub-surface search for emissions from the black box pinger from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.”

Hines also announced that up to 10 military planes, four civilian jets and nine ships will assist in Friday's search.

Flight 370 and its 239 passengers vanished on March 8.

The batteries for the black box pinger are expected to fail in a matter of days.

Search efforts for the Boeing 777 started over the Gulf of Thailand and South China Sea, then shifted west, north and south before settling on the southern Indian Ocean.

The current search area is an 85,000-square-mile patch of ocean about 1,000 miles off of Australia’s coast.

Malaysian officials admitted earlier this week that the mystery into the plane’s disappearance may never be solved.

Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur, "At the end of the investigations, we may not even know the real cause. We may not even know the reason for this incident."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio