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French vessel arrives for EgyptAir search

The black boxes are believed to be lying in up to 3,000 meters of water, on the edge of the range for hearing and locating signals emitted by the boxes

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Deep-water search operations to locate the wreckage and black boxes of the EgyptAir plane that plunged into the Mediterranean last week will start in the coming days, France's BEA air safety agency said Thursday.

"A deep-water search campaign will begin in the coming days with the arrival in the accident area of the French navy surveillance vessel 'La Place'," said the BEA, which is working alongside the Egyptian authorities to investigate the May 19 crash.

The black boxes are believed to be lying in up to 3,000 meters of water, on the edge of the range for hearing and locating signals emitted by the boxes.

Maritime search experts say this means acoustic hydrophones must be towed in the water at depths of up to 2,000 meters in order to have the best chance of picking up the signals.

A French vessel carrying specialist probes designed to detect black box pinger signals has arrived to the search area where an EgyptAir jet is believed to have crashed last week, sources on the investigation committee said on Friday.

ALSEAMAR, a subsidiary of French industrial group Alcen, is providing equipment that includes three of its DETECTOR-6000 systems, designed to pick up black-box pinger signals over long distances up to 5 km (3 miles), according to the company's website.

The French company will conduct a deepwater search in "four or five" areas within the 5 kilometre search zone believed to contain the two black boxes, with the possibility of expanding the search zone should no signal be detected, the source said.

All 66 people on board the flight from Paris to Cairo were killed.

The announcement of the search comes a day after the investigating team in Cairo also received radar imagery and audio recordings from Greece of what would purportedly detail the flight’s final trajectory and pilot conversations.

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