Authorities were hoping a break in poor weather Thursday would allow them to "fight with full force" to find the victims of AirAsia Flight 8501, as they worked fast to locate the fuselage of the plane that crashed four days ago.
Only seven of the 162 bodies have been recovered so far, with four of them found over the past two days arriving Thursday morning in Pangkalan Bun on Borneo island.
"The visibility is good this morning, we are ready to fight with full force to search for bodies, wreckages that can reveal what went wrong with this accident," said First Marshal Agus Dwi Putranto, an Air Force Operation commander helping to lead the search, adding four aircraft were dispatched to the area just after sunrise.
Choppy conditions had prevented divers from entering the water on Wednesday, and helicopters were largely grounded. But 18 ships surveyed the narrowed search area. Sonar images identified what appeared to be large parts of the plane, but strong currents were moving the debris
Earlier, investigators discovered radar evidence indicating that the plane made an "unbelievably" steep climb moments before the crash, Reuters reported Wednesday.
"So far, the numbers taken by the radar are unbelievably high. This rate of climb is very high, too high. It appears to be beyond the performance envelope of the aircraft," a source close to the investigation told the news agency.
Indonesian search and rescue Chief Bambang Soelistyo said that the bodies of four men and three women had been recovered earlier in the morning.
He said one of the women was clad in the distinctive red uniform of an AirAsia flight attendant.
Tatang Zaenudin, deputy head of operations at the national search and rescue agency, earlier told Reuters that one of the bodies recovered was wearing a life jacket, but later took back the claim.
"There is no victim that has been found wearing a life jacket," he said. "We found a body at 8.20 a.m. and a life jacket at 10.32 a.m. so there was a time difference. This is the latest information we have."
Meanwhile, officials said that sonar images had identified what appeared to be large parts of the Airbus A320, but strong currents appeared to be moving the wreckage.
"It seems all the wreckage found has drifted more than 31 miles from yesterday's location," said one official. "We are expecting those bodies will end up on beaches."
The search for bodies had been expanded to approximately 94 miles of the nearby coastline to allow for that possibility.
The airliner's disappearance halfway through a two-hour flight from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore early Sunday triggered an international search for the aircraft involving dozens of planes, ships and helicopters from numerous countries. It is still unclear what brought the plane down.
— AirAsia (@AirAsia) December 30, 2014
Malaysia-based AirAsia's loss comes on top of the still-unsolved disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March with 239 people aboard, and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in July over Ukraine, which killed all 298 passengers and crew.
The jet's last communication indicated the pilots were worried about bad weather. They sought permission to climb above threatening clouds but were denied because of heavy air traffic. Four minutes later, the jet disappeared from the radar without issuing a distress signal.
The aircraft's cockpit voice and flight data recorders, or black boxes, must be recovered before officials can start determining what caused the crash. Items recovered so far include a life jacket, an emergency window, children's shoes, a blue suitcase and backpacks filled with food.
Experts say that the recovery of the recorders would be aided by the relatively concentrated area of wreckage and the shallowness of the water.
Simple wooden coffins — numbered 001 and 002 — with purple flowers on top contained the first two bodies, which were sent from Pangkalan Bun to Surabaya for autopsies. The two victims were a woman wearing blue jeans and a boy.
Nearly all the passengers were Indonesian. The country is predominantly Muslim, but most of those aboard were Christians of Chinese descent.
One Surabaya church -- Manwar Sharon Church -- lost 40 members in the crash. On Wednesday, around 100 relatives gathered for a prayer service in an hall at the Surabaya airport where the Rev. Philip Mantofa urged the crowd to hold onto their faith, despite their pain.
Before breaking up, those gathered stood together and sang with their hands reaching upward: "I surrender all. I surrender all. I surrender all to God our savior. I surrender all."
About 125 family members had planned to travel to Pangkalan Bun, 100 miles from the area where bodies were first spotted, to start identifying their loved ones.
"Some things do not make sense to us, but God is bigger than all this," he said. "Our God is not evil ... help us God to move forward even though we are surrounded by darkness."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.