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Search for Malaysia Flight 370

Aired April 8, 2014 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone, 8:00 p.m. here in the United States, on the East Coast, 8:00 a.m. in the Flight 370 search area where there is breaking news tonight. Authorities are out with a new plan of attack for the day.

We've got a big night ahead including a preview of one of the most rewarding hours of television that we've ever done. One of the bravest individuals we've met. The hour 10:00 p.m. Eastern tonight, it's called "THE SURVIVOR DIARIES." Amazing woman at the center of it joins us later in this hour with a preview.

But first the breaking news tonight, a 24/7 all-out race to find Flight 370's black boxes before they stop sending out signals that will lead salvage crews to them. The search area has narrowed, they've been refined yet again but time -- though the time window is closing.

Matthew Chance is just outside Perth, that search headquarters, with the latest.

So tell us about the ship and the search area. What do we know?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, every day, Anderson, they seem to be refining that search area. They've skimmed a bit off it, they've narrowed it down by about 1,000 square miles. It's now 29,000 square miles, instead of the 30,000 that it was yesterday.

It's still a vast area of ocean. But they say the two areas of focus still one in the -- in the south where the Chinese, you remember, say they found some pings. They have managed to verify that but they're still working on it. And another area in the north of that zone where the Ocean Shield, which is an Australian vessel which is using equipment borrowed from the U.S. Navy, which has tracked what it believes to be pings from potential black boxes, but still hasn't managed to capture them since the weekend.

So that's a very worrying sign. They're still working on it, but as yet they haven't managed to get that signal back again, and they're very concerned about it.

COOPER: You talk about the Ocean Shield, do we know how -- at this point, how many ships, how many planes are participating in today's search?

CHANCE: Yes, it's 15 airplanes. And it's not just these two vessels that are engaged. It's 15 airplanes, most of them military, but some civilian ones as well. And about 14 naval vessels that are out there in various locations in that search so all playing a distinct role, all trying to do what they can to look for debris, to look for other signs. Scanning as well with a submarine, the HMS Tireless is there, a nuclear submarine. All scanning for any sign of this missing Malaysian Airliner.

And, you know, what's very concerning and worrying about this whole situation is that so far after what, 33 days now, they still haven't got any verified information of where this missing plane is.

COOPER: Matthew Chance, appreciate the update.

I want to bring in our panel, aviation analyst and veteran private pilot, Miles O'Brien, David Gallo, co-leader of the search for Air France Flight 447 and director of Special Projects in the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and aviation correspondent Richard Quest.

Richard, what do you make of this yet another kind of refinement of the search area?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: This will continue. They know where they've got to be looking. They've already had the satellite data from Inmarsat. That's already been refined down. So it's a constant process of elimination. You just keep going out there looking for debris. They're looking for anything they can find that would indicate that they are -- they need corroboration.

They've got the circumstantial evidence of the satellite pings and of the pinger noise. But they need corroboration with hard physical evidence.

COOPER: And they're still looking. I mean, you're talking about looking for debris. But they're really still searching for pings. I mean, that's what they're -- the focus is.

QUEST: Two things going on here, Anderson. The planes are looking for debris on that map. And then the pinger that the Ocean Shield is still trawling up and down, trying to reestablish, and will do for probably another five to 10 days until they are absolutely certain that the batteries are dead. But those planes are in the air looking for that corroborative evidence, physical evidence that it exists.

COOPER: And, Miles, you know, when we look at the map, that we were showing, it's kind of a confusing map, all those gray areas are all search areas. The red that you see in the middle of the gray area that's one of the new search areas. And there is a tiny little red dot at the end of the 1,038 mile arrow, that's I guess the planned search area where the ship is.

But they're actually adding more -- the Ocean Shield, they're actually adding more assets to the underwater search, adding a Chinese and British ship.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Yes, they're still -- the HMS Echo, and of course the Chinese ship which reported those pings over the weekend, in that more southerly location. Also on that same Inmarsat arc so all make sense. And while those pings were picked up by kind of a rudimentary device that the Chinese were using in a rather (INAUDIBLE) together way, it's nonetheless something that you want to check out.

And so they are scanning in that location. Haven't heard anything from that location yet. I'm told by the experts that it -- it's a separate thing regardless. If they heard pings there it's probably not the same point of origination as the location where the Ocean Shield is.

COOPER: David, I mean, at this point, are you -- do you think they're going to be at this for sometime since they haven't heard these pings again since Sunday?

DAVID GALLO, CO-LED SEARCH FOR AIR FRANCE FLIGHT 447: Yes, I agree with what Richard said, Anderson, is that they're going to keep going until they're fairly sure that the batteries are worn down to nothing or nearly dead. Because if they get one or two more good hits I think that's good enough. You know, it's good enough to start putting vehicles in the water and start searching the sea floor.

COOPER: Yes, I want to bring in Mark Matthews, a U.S. Navy captain who's going to be joining us right now from Bullsbrook, Australia. He's been obviously on the hunt and knows very well firsthand all the ins and outs.

So, Captain Mark Matthews, I appreciate you joining us. Can you just give us an update on what you expect today, the details of the search, how is it going?

CAPT. MARK MATTHEWS, U.S. NAVY: Certainly, Anderson, my pleasure to be with you today. What we expect the teams to continue doing is the search with the towed pinger locator, this is really my long-range detection capability, and it's not that great a range. But it's my best means for doing detection while we still believe that the acoustic beacons are still active with live batteries.

COOPER: So do you believe that they are active and live batteries, the pingers from black boxes if in fact that's what you heard on Sunday? Or is it just -- I mean, do you actually know if they are or just kind of hoping that they are at this point?

MATTHEWS: Well, those batteries are rated for a 30-day life. And you know, that's the minimum they're designed for. So, you know, today is day 33. I fully expect that, you know, there is a strong probability that they're still active. But you know, there are certainly variables at play here. If you look at the Air France Flight 447 accident, those pingers were not working due to the damage they sustained during the impact.

But you know based on the detections that we picked up over the weekend I would believe that those pingers are still active.

COOPER: And obviously, you want to give every chance possible to hear any pings that are still going. Do you have a timeline for how long you -- you keep trying to find the pings without actually sort of switching to just searching the ocean floor?

MATTHEWS: Certainly, and this is relatively a hunch, right. So 30 days is the minimum life you expect out of these batteries. I'd say that 45 is probably the maximum that you could expect. So sometime around that 45-day point, people will need to sit down and we'll need to have the discussion of whether it's time to -- you know, if we have not localized the acoustic transmissions that we've received over the weekend. If those don't turn out to be realistic detections, then it's time to sit down and say, OK, the towed pinger locator is no longer effective.

It's time to shift to a sonar search which is much more time taking. For example, with the autonomous underwater vehicle that's on board the Ocean Shield right now, I could -- it would take me seven days, six or seven days to search the area that I can cover in one day with the towed pinger locator.

So right now our efforts are focused on maximizing the use of the towed pinger locator but certainly identifying priority areas to go search with the side scan sonar once we're confident that the acoustic beacons are no longer transmitting.

COOPER: I know my colleague, Richard Quest, has a question for you.

QUEST: Yes. It's Richard Quest. Just briefly, if you never hear the pinger again, from the data that you've already got from the two that you've received, how big a search area on the ocean floor is involved?

MATTHEWS: I think it's important to take even a step back further from what you're just asking. Because really, what we're doing is the last known location of this aircraft was thousands of kilometers away. And what we've got is we've got information from a multi-national team up in Kuala Lumpur, who've done some, you know, really astounding engineering work, really astounding data reduction, if in fact the location that they pointed us to is the accurate location.

It's certainly promising having detections in the water. You know, I need more confidence to say it's an acoustic beacon. I need to be able to regularly re-acquire that signal to narrow down the location so that I can accurately put the AUV down on it. But, you know, that would be astounding.

Now if I just search around the areas that we have had those periodic detections of that acoustic beacons, they're separated by about 15 to 20 kilometers and you'd certainly want to swath around that, so you'd probably -- you know, you're probably talking, you know, to get a good coverage in that area you're probably talking around 30 kilometers by 10 kilometers.

Still a big area, but you know certainly a lot smaller than, you know, the broad area search. But you know, there is a possibility that our acoustic detections are not accurate. And so we need to you know, maintain respectful optimism and be responsible with the actions we take because we certainly want -- do not want to project false hope until we can confirm that our detections are good. COOPER: Let me just follow up on that. If -- and again, there is probably an obvious answer to this and just as a layman I don't understand it. But what is the -- is there a disadvantage to kind of trying to tackle this on multiple fronts? At the same time, did you have the towed pinger locator out there trying to hear the pings up to day 45, why not have whatever underwater assets you have scouring the ocean floor, in that area where you've already sort of been able to triangulate, already heard some sort of acoustic sounds?

Would having underwater vehicles, would that interfere with having the towed pinger locator in the water?

MATTHEWS: When I'm launching it from the same platform it certainly would.

COOPER: Got it.

MATTHEWS: You know the best use of resources right now again is to focus on that broad area search, that towed pinger locator until we can reasonably rule out that the acoustic beacons are no longer transmitting.

COOPER: Now, Commander William Marks also said that as the hours passed, optimism is fading ever so slightly. Do you -- do you find that? Does it become tougher as time goes by without hearing another ping?

I think we lost you just on the sound, obviously. It's a live transmission from Australia.

Captain Matthews, I appreciate you being on.

Let's go back to the panel. I mean, David Gallo, you've been out and searching for 447. Is it hard to maintain that optimism and is it necessary to maintain that optimism?

GALLO: Yes, I think it's necessary to maintain the optimism on board a ship for sure where the teams are going 24/7 and without a break. You know, rotating shifts of course. But you want to keep -- I'm going to jump ahead a little bit and say, you know, they've got a lot going for them right here with that -- having heard that pinger for so long and understanding how far away from that pinger could they have still heard that kind of decibel. And I don't know what they have received.

But get some idea of what kind of search area, and Captain said 30 by 10 kilometers. So that's a respectable area. A good size, you know, it's large but not too large to search in about a week's time. So you know that's a very good team out there. They've got great technology. And he knows what plan he's working by so I have a lot of confidence in what they're doing.

COOPER: So does it make sense to you, David Gallo, to not -- I mean, if you said that would take about a week to search that area, I'm assuming you're talking about --


COOPER: Underwater vehicles.

GALLO: Yes --

COOPER: Why not just do that now rather than wait another 15 days searching for a pinger --

GALLO: Yes. I'm always very anxious to get the vehicles in the water and get mapping. He's being a little bit conservative, but rightfully so. You know, it's fairly rugged terrain, where they're working the north side of this underwater plateau. You take the risk of losing the vehicle or damaging the vehicle and also you've got to change ships on board the ships. So it's not a trivial thing to change just from the towed pinger locator to this AUV under water drone activity.

So he's doing the right thing. I would be chomping at the bit to get a vehicle in the water, though I'll map -- start mapping that north facing slope.

COOPER: All right, more developments to talk about. Let me know what you think, any questions you have, follow me on Twitter @andersoncooper. Tweet us using #ac360.

Ahead, an amazing look at the kind of undersea terrain where Flight 370 might be found. It's where this ship sank that you're looking at. You'll see how they found it and how similar efforts might help find the missing plane.

And next, an up close look at what Captain Matthews called his baby, that towed pinger locator how it actually works.

Also tonight you're going to meet an extraordinary woman, Adrienne Haslet Davis, a year after she lost her lower left leg in the Boston marathon bombings, professional dancer Adrienne's long road back.


ADRIENNE HASLET DAVIS, BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING SURVIVOR: They are going to fit me for my leg. Yes. So exciting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here's your foot.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, she is standing on her own.


COOPER: She has allowed us to follow her recovery. We're going to bring you the story tonight at 10:00 Eastern for a special hour, one documentary. She will join us in this hour with a preview.


COOPER: Our breaking news tonight, the search area being refined again for a new day in the hunt for Flight 370, we've been talking about the different tools involved, something like the Bluefin side scanning sonar, send that noises of their own and use the echoes to locate undersea objects.

However, as you heard Captain Matthews say a moment ago, as long as there is hope that those black box pingers are still pinging, devices that simply listen are taking center stage especially the towed pinger locator.

Tonight our Randi Kaye has an up close look at that.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This high-tech listening device can glide along near the bottom of the sea at about 1,000 feet from the ocean floor. It's a U.S. Navy hydrophone or underwater microphone called a towed pinger locator. Search teams are counting on it to find the pings mounted directly on the black boxes from Flight 370. But time is running out for the pinger's battery life.

TIM TAYLOR, PRESIDENT, TIBURON SUBSEA SERVICES: What they're trying to do is get ears in the water while the pinger is still going.

KAYE: This is the sound it's listening for. The towed pinger locator or TPL is 30 inches long and weighs just 70 pounds. It's towed behind the ship that operates it, in this case, the Ocean Shield, and generally moves at about three knots. That means with 150 miles or so to cover just a sliver of the search area it will take days.

TAYLOR: It does two things. It gets it down into that level. It also gets it away from a lot of the surface noise, wind on the water creates noise. Propellers from other votes. All of that makes noise and biological animals, dolphins, whales, fish, they all make sounds.

KAYE: The device can pick up the pinger sound in depth reaching 20,000 feet from as far as two miles away.

(On camera): Here is why it's so critical to get that towed pinger locator deep down in the ocean. The pinger sound from the black box can get stuck in something called a deep sound channel. About 2,000 to 4,000 feet below the surface. If the sound does get trapped there and bounces around the only way to pick it up may be through one of these pinger locator devices.

TAYLOR: Sending the towed pinger down there will -- the TPL will put you in that channel so they can hear that echoing or ricocheting sound. When the pinger picks up a sound it's in real time sent right up the cable to the boat so in real time the scientists and the technicians on board will be listening.

KAYE (voice-over): Pinger locaters have been used for years. In 1996, a TPL successfully located the black box for TWA Flight 800, though that was in shallow waters off New York. Investigators used one in 2009 when Air France Flight 447 went down in the Atlantic but found nothing. If they have any luck locating the pinger from Flight 370, next they'll deploy this autonomous underwater vehicle. It maps the ocean floor.

TAYLOR: It will start running patterns back and forth, shooting sound out the side and taking pictures. And it will show objects, shiny objects, basically, bright objects that could be the plane.

KAYE: Right now that's the perfect scenario. But even the head of this search effort seems to be hedging his bets.

ANGUS HOUSTON, CHIEF COORDINATOR, JOINT AGENCY COORDINATION CENTRE: Hopefully, hopefully the calculations are putting us into about the right area.

KAYE: Randy Kaye, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Want to bring back David Gallo into the conversation, we're also joined now by CNN safety analyst David Soucie, author of "Why Planes Crash: An Accident Investigator's Fight for Safe Skies."

Davis Soucie, it is kind of remarkable that they heard these pings for an extended period of time on Sunday and yet there's no debris in sight.

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: I'm still perplexed by that. The couple of theories that I'm going around in my head is one that it was able to make a successful ditching and that it all sunk together in one piece.

COOPER: So that actually landed intact.

SOUCIE: Yes, that would explain why there would be no debris. On the other hand, talking with other experts about weather, there's been a lot of movement through there. And then also the other thing, this Columbia University guy saying well, if there's debris it spreads out. So you would think it'd be easier to find if the debris is there. It's further outward covering all those areas and you saw before that they found little tiny pieces of paper and things like that from the sightings.

COOPER: David Gallo, does it make sense to you the idea that no debris has been found?

GALLO: When you get out there it's a big ocean and objects become very, very small. Even ships and planes. And you know, I do wonder if the modelers have been looking at this location and then backtracking from here or forward casting from here to where those objects would have ended up if they originated near where Ocean Shield is today because that would give you some idea of where to begin looking for that debris field, if in fact it's there.

COOPER: You know, David Gallo, you raised a -- a good point. And I spent this past weekend in the Pacific diving on wrecks of World War II planes for a story I'm working on for "60 Minutes," completely unrelated to this. And once you're out there it really does change your perspective. I mean, it's very easy for all of us to sit here and all of us at home to say and think, OK, this is a relatively small search area.

Once you're out on the ocean you realize just how, I mean, huge it is and how difficult it is to find anything out there.

GALLO: Yes, absolutely. I mean, and the idea that there's mountains beneath the sea, there's valleys, the greatest mountains on earth, the greatest valleys, underwater rivers, underwater lakes, underwater waterfalls, the largest waterfall on earth beneath the sea. And the public is just generally not aware of these things. And when you're out there and just that experience you just had it's a whole -- it's a whole different world.

COOPER: It's also interesting, David Soucie, and I've heard all the different sorts of time periods for -- basically the grace period for when these pingers might extend to. We just heard from Captain Matthews who was saying, you know, 30 days is sort of the minimum. They're going to give it maybe to as much as 45 days before they give up on the hope of hearing a ping.

SOUCIE: Well, with anything that's type certificate held, it has an authorization, the manufacturer. You have the 30-day limit, and then you have to exceed that by a certain amount. It's a safety factor. (INAUDIBLE) safety factor. And that's what they're talking about here is that typically you've got -- well, not typically. You have to certify 30 days and if it goes longer than that, then that's a buffer, a safety buffer in this.

COOPER: Do you think that they are just -- I mean, do you think they just got lucky in finding these things? I mean, because they have been refining the search area over and over again. I know there is that third kind of refinement and then all of a sudden this weekend they got pings.

SOUCIE: Yes, it's funny, even golfers say the harder you work the luckier you get. And these guys are working really hard, they're covering a lot of territory. And I really think that that's what the result is, is they've really narrowed it down and gotten to an area that they think is likely.

COOPER: David Soucie, thank you. David Gallo, as well.

For more on this, of course, you can always go to

Up next tonight, we're going to take you to an aviation accident lab in California. You're looking at it right now. This is a fascinating place. We're going to see how investigators get answers from even the smallest pieces of wreckage.

Also ahead tonight, what we can learn from a ship that sank more than 60 years ago in the same waters where Flight 370 may be.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Well, searchers say the signals detected in the Indian Ocean are the best hope, obviously, for finding wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Now if pieces of the plane are found, it's only the beginning of the search as we've talked about.

Stephanie Elam joins us now with more on how investigators figure out what happened based on what they see in wreckage. She's at the USC Aviation Safety and Security Accident Investigation lab, along with our aviation safety expert, Michael Barr -- Stephanie.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson, when you take a look at this wreckage it really does help put into perspective just how mangled these planes are and how they're able to take little pieces of that and decide then that this is what happened with this plane. And they say once you learned something, when you look at the next accident you can learn from that, as well, Anderson.

And just to show you, I want to walk you over and introduce you to Michael Barr here because he says that when you look at this, to us, with untrained eye, when you look at an accident like this, to me I can't tell what happened here, but to you there's clues already.

MICHAEL BARR, USC AVIATION SAFETY EXPERT: As soon as we start walking across the field and start looking at this airplane, the airplanes are going to talk to us. Telling me what was the angle of impact. It's telling me whether or not they had an in-flight fire, tells me whether or not they had a ground fire. And so that's where I start.

And then what I do is I take each system, and I look at each system until I find out which system was the problem.

ELAM: OK, and so -- this is a big part of the plane that is here. And obviously, this one was a crash landing on earth. But when you take a look at the 777 that they're looking for, if it went into the water if that impact happened could we get something from that as far as big pieces, even though it could potentially break up?

BARR: Yes. If I can get back -- you know, quite a bit of the airplane, the wreckage and the pieces, then I will go back to what we did before we started investigating with black boxes and I will do deductive reasoning throughout the airplane until I find a system that failed.

ELAM: So you're going to go by piece by piece, and Anderson, it's a very slow, painstaking process if you don't find those black boxes to go through and find it. It could be very small pieces but any pieces found would give that clue to help them know, A, it went into the water, and B, what may have happened to it.

COOPER: If you could ask Mr. Barra, just with an aircraft that is under water, how much of the actual aircraft would he want to actually try to bring up? Or would he just be focusing at least initially on the black boxes and not worry too much about the actual aircraft pieces?

MICHAEL BARR, USC AVIATION SAFETY EXPERT: Well, I would do both, initially I would want to see the black box because that would be the easiest way to find out what was happening. But if I couldn't, I would also be looking for the wreckage itself because as much as I can get back, I would put it together like this TWA 800. And when I get done with it, that mosaic that I see will actually give me a picture of what happened to this airplane. And good investigators, sharp people, 90 percent of the time will put it back together and come up with an answer.

COOPER: It is amazing what you can do. Stephanie Elam, I appreciate it. Mr. Barr, thank you as well. With us now, CNN aviation analyst, Miles O'Brien and aviation correspondent, Richard Quest. It is, Miles, has to be frustrating that the lack of debris at this point, which would give a lot of clues about how this plane entered the water if in fact that is what happened.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Yes, if guess if I had to choose between the two, I will take the black boxes. Because there is an awful lot of data in there that will tell us things that certainly could rule out or rule in mechanical failure, an explosion. There is a lot of scenarios that we could run through. You know, the interesting thing is though if you think about this as a deliberate act, black box is not going to really tell us who might have done that, is it? So there might still be some mysteries that it does not answer.

COOPER: And he is saying that, Richard, because obviously it only records a certain amount of time in the first two hours.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: That is the cockpit voice recorder. The CVR records the last two hours. The flight data recorder records weeks and that has every input. Whatever is done in the control room, 10,000 parameters are monitored from engines --

COOPER: From that will you be able to tell if the aircraft was under human control?

QUEST: Absolutely, because you will see the measures that were taken and it will tell you which side did it, was it the left-hand seat or the right-hand seat. It will not tell you whose hand did it. But you will get such a vast amount of -- just listening to what they're talking about with wreckage, if I looked back at the incidents I have covered, Concord, Qantas, TWA, in all of those incidents huge amounts of information was gleaned by looking at the wreckage and working out what bit failed in what order and to which consequences.

COOPER: But have you ever covered a crash in which there was no debris, in which a plane -- in terms of a plane in water, that it entered the water whole?

QUEST: You mean sort of like a movie, it goes down intact?

COOPER: Yes, or it had a relatively gentle entering into the water.

QUEST: Well, some World War II planes went down and bombers went down intact, but they were at slower speeds, in terms of a jetliner, much faster, no, a more complicated case. COOPER: Miles, you've never heard of a case either?

O'BRIEN: No, it is completely backwards, I would expect to find a seat cushion, and oceanographers would go back and try to reconstruct where the crash site might be. In this case we had so little information. And almost because of that it forced the clever engineers at Inmarsat to come up with the rings, which gave us in a rather amazing way the ability to define locations on the planet where that plane was. And sure enough underneath that last ring we're hearing some pings, apparently.

COOPER: Miles, we heard from Captain Matthews early on in the broadcast at the top of the program talking about giving you know as many as another 15 days or probably 13 days now, sort of a maximum of 45 days on the life of the pinger to continue to search for that sound. Do you really think they will go that long to searching for the sound?

O'BRIEN: That seems like a long time to me. Listening to Van talk about the 7-1 ratio as far as the pinger versus the autonomous under water vehicles. In other words, it would take seven days to cover the same amount you could cover in one day with the pinger. Given the amount of time, that seems a little excessive. There will be pressure from the families, the media to put the autonomous underwater vehicle in the water and start to map the ocean. You heard David Gallo, he wants it in right now.

COOPER: Well, Miles O'Brien, appreciate you being on. Richard Quest as well.

Just ahead, are there lessons to be learned from another search in the Indian Ocean? This is fascinating. It took experts decades to find what you're looking at right now. This is a ship from World War II in very deep water. Two decades to find it. You will see how they did it and what lessons may have been learned from this search.

Plus, just days after losing her lower leg, Adrienne Haslet- Davis vowed to dance again, I foolishly asked her to give me a dance lesson and she took me up on that. We had our dance lesson. We'll talk about the journey on the dance floor. She joins us ahead tonight in this preview.


COOPER: Well, the breaking news tonight, the search for flight 370 now being refined again in the race to find the black boxes, 15 aircraft, 14 ships are joining the hunt in the coming days. Three of those ships will search underwater, without question, the Southern Indian Ocean is possibly the worst place for a plane to crash, deep, rough waters, hard to reach by ship or plane.

This is not the first time an extended search has taken place off Australia's west coast. It took experts decades to find a ship that sunk there during World War II. CNN's Atika Shubert asked the man who recovered that ship if he sees any parallels with the search under way. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the first images of the "HMS Sydney" more than 60 years after sinking in battle with all 645 on board lost at sea. This was taken in 2008 off the coast of Western Australia. The same waters the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is believed to have gone down.

MICHAEL MCCARTHY, MARITIME HISTORIAN/ARCHAEOLOGIST: The sadness on board to see those images is going to be matched again if that occurs in this case.

SHUBERT: Michael McCarthy was on the team that found the Sydney after more than 25 years of searching. He sees eerie similarities in the search for Flight 370.

MCCARTHY: You have an enormous area where it could be or might not be. You have the similar depth of water and you have similar emotions.

SHUBERT: But the search today has the advantage of technology. If satellite images and search planes could find debris from the plane in time, the flight data recorder should be sending out a signal. The search for "HAMS Sydney" shows that even without that signal wrecks can still be found using sonar scans. It takes time. McCarthy describes the process.

MCCARTHY: They mow the lawn back and forth until you finally find the signal, which tells you, there, we have the wreck. That takes a while even if you know where you have to go.

SHUBERT: By salvaging the Sydney, McCarthy and his team were able to pinpoint exactly what happened when it sank. Investigators will be hoping to do the same with Flight 370. Solving the mystery is only part of the search.

MCCARTHY: It wasn't what happened, it wasn't so much whose idea was right or wrong, but whether the relatives got a sense of closure, to use a terrible word. It is not really closure. They had a sense of one less mystery to them.

SHUBERT: This deep water mystery now solved has hoped those still seeking answers to Flight 370. Atika Shubert, CNN, Australia.


COOPER: David Gallo joins us again, director of special projects at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. As you know, he co-led the search for Air France Flight 447. You are watching that, it is important to bear in mind. We talk about finding the plane, the wreckage. This is a burial site. This is a horrible, horrible loss of life, I mean, you think about more than 600 souls on board that ship from World War II who went down with the ship. And here, you know, 239 souls. I just think in all the coverage it is kind of easy to lose sight of that essential fact. DAVID GALLO, CO-LED SEARCH FOR AIR FRANCE FLIGHT 447: Yes, I'm glad you said that, Anderson, because otherwise it becomes an interesting mystery of what happened to Malaysia Air flight 370. Same with the World War II submarine lost in the Aleutians. You work hard to recover, and in one sense you want to celebrate, but in another sense there is no time for celebration. Even on the Titanic, there were moments on the ship where emotions just overcame you when you think about what happened at that spot.

COOPER: I have a great uncle, who was lost. And same scenario, so many souls lost on board, and disappeared forever. You hear it described as like mowing the lawn, kind of essentially going back and forth. That has to sound familiar to you.

GALLO: Of course, it does. Yes, I mean, that is the normal way to look for something when you have a very wide area, a big search like Air France 447. In the early days it was Titanic and many other ship wrecks, in this case it could be something different if you forget that mega sized ship. And focus on what the pingers tell us. If those are true, you heard the captain talk about 30 x what was it, 30 x 10 kilometers. That is about 100 square miles, something like that. That is a very manageable area where you don't have to maybe mow the lawn you may be able to go directly to the target if you believe what the pingers tell you. So it might be a little bit different in this case.

COOPER: Yes, well, let's hope. David Dallo again, I appreciate your expertise.

Up next in the program, we'll talk to the marathon Boston bombing survivor, Adrienne Haslet-Davis, she told me moments after the bombing she would dance again. She documented her journey, every step of the way including some of the toughest moments.


ADRIANNE HASLET-DAVIS, BOSTON BOMBING SURVIVOR: I'm at the studio and -- just tried dancing again. Determination is going to get me through.



COOPER: Today, the White House said Vice President Joe Biden will attend a tribute ceremony in Boston next Tuesday, the first anniversary of the Boston marathon bombings, people directly touched by the tragedy have not had a road map for how to get through these past 12 months, for everybody it has been different.

Of course, we remember three people died in the attack, more than 200 people were wounded. Amputations were far too common on that horrible day. Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a professional dancer, lost part of her leg. We met her just days after the bombing. She promised she would dance again after the bombing. She promised to teach me because I foolishly asked her. She is incredibly inspiring and generous.

For the past year, Adrianne has allowed us to follow her recovery. She took a lot of the video herself, and documented her trials and also her struggles to overcome the physical and emotional wounds. At 10:00 p.m. Eastern time, a little over an hour from now, we'll bring you her journey in our CNN special report "The Survivor Diaries." Here's a preview.


HASLET-DAVIS: Part of my PTSD was always thinking a bomb would go off at all times. They lit fireworks over the Harbor. And all of a sudden, we heard explosions and I started screaming and crying, call 911.


COOPER: Well, Adrianne Haslet Davis joins me now. And you know, one of the things we see in that moment it just the reality of recovery, the reality of this. In TV, we're there for a couple of days, couple of weeks at times. And then we leave, and you are left with this new life. And it is -- I just think it is incredibly brave of you to document this and show it to the world because -- is it important for you that people know the reality of recovery?

HASLET-DAVIS: Yes, it really is. You know, like you said, you know, you can cover news stories and people can have that moment of grieving with you. But then it is easy to move on to the next thing and sort of, for lack of a better term forget what happened to the people who have really suffered. And it is important for me to show that and to show other amputees.

I just heard -- got an e-mail from somebody just hours ago saying that their dear friend had a 13-year-old daughter, and she was just severely amputated in an accident. I need to get more details. But it is just things like that, that make me so sad for them. I want them to have a reference of what that year will look like.

COOPER: Did you have any idea what this year would look like when we first talked in the hospital?

HASLET-DAVIS: Not at all. I thought I would get my prosthetic and start dancing again, and two months, three months, a far cry from the truth.

COOPER: Explain why -- how it was more difficult. Explain why that didn't happen.

HASLET-DAVIS: You know, I -- was wrongly assuming that the prosthetic, you got it and you just put it on the end of your leg and you just started walking. And it is much different than that. You have to wait for your stitches to wound, scab over, and then you start to put on this shrinker sock and wear that to shrink down your leg.

COOPER: And your leg it does shrink?

HASLET-DAVIS: Yes, my gosh, it was the size of a basketball when we met. Now it is just as small, if not smaller than my fist. That takes a lot of time. You go through a significant amount of legs before you're comfortable to put appreciate on it, and do dance steps.

COOPER: You do dance again and you were very gracious to give me a dance lesson.

HASLET-DAVIS: So much fun highlight of the year.

COOPER: I don't know about that. You are being very gracious. But you also recorded really -- I think the first time you were dancing at the MIT Lab. You worked there with the specialists there, is it Michael -- he really developed a foot for you to dance on?

HASLET-DAVIS: Yes. It was really incredible. He and his team are incredibly talented. He said are you ready to give it a shot? I said let's do it.






COOPER: What did it feel like to start doing that?

HASLET-DAVIS: It was incredible. You know, you can feel the articulation through your leg. I could feel the articulation of my foot. And that was the first time in those experimental phases with that leg was the first time I could feel my foot moving for the first time again, and just to visualize something on the end of my leg was incredibly emotional.

COOPER: And you were hooked up to a computer. There were scientists there watching you do this. And you were saying, it feels a little tight here. Also in that video there is a big battery pack on the prosthetic, which over time in this able to shrink down. And so later on in the film tonight, when you dance at the first public dancing, they have already made progress on just the size of it.

HASLET-DAVIS: They did, and you know when they integrated the battery into the leg it made a difference on the weight distribution for me. And that helped me to be able to dance a lot better than I'm dancing here. And it was just incredible. They just make all of these improvements. And it was a joint effort of me saying this is what I need and them saying this is what I can do. It was just an incredible learning experience.

COOPER: And I also want to mention your husband, Adam, who has gone through all of this with you, he was wounded in the blast as well. What do you want people to take away from this, that are watching this, as well? HASLET-DAVIS: You know, I think it is an honest look to know what it is going through hell and back. I want people to take away it is OK to not be OK. When you have dark moments, maybe not this specifically, when you have these dark moments in life you have to let yourself not grieve. And force yourself to be OK. And for our amputees, I want them to realize they're not alone. You can feel like the only person in the world that was affected in that moment. And that your life may not go on. But if you find the strength to keep going and know that you -- it is OK to not be OK.

COOPER: I like that, that it is OK to not be OK.

HASLET-DAVIS: Yes, my grandmother said that to me when I was very little. I was upset about something, probably not very important at the time. She said it is OK not to be OK. That really stuck with me, as well.

COOPER: And for me, as well, I'm so proud to know you.

HASLET-DAVIS: I'm proud of your dancing.

COOPER: We'll see tonight.

HASLET-DAVIS: Everyone will see tonight.

COOPER: Yes, sadly everyone will see tonight. It has been a remarkable year for the survivors, "Survivor Diaries" will begin tonight at 10:00. We'll be back live for another edition of AC360. We'll be right back.


COOPER: I hope you tune in for our documentary "The Survivor Diaries" airing one hour from now at 10 p.m. Eastern. We'll be back also at 11 p.m. Eastern, another live edition of 360.