Missing Malaysian Flight MH370: Two ships pull possible debris from the Indian Ocean in hunt for plane
Published 29/03/2014 | 15:11
Ships have pulled debris out of the Indian Ocean after another day of intensive searching for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, but have not yet been able to confirm they are that of the missing plane.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said “a number of objects” had been retrieved from the sea by a Chinese and Australian vessel.
A spokesman for AMSA said they not been “confirmed to be related to MH370” and would be analysed.
Eight aircraft and a fleet of boats scoured an area of ocean larger than the United Kingdom on Saturday, reporting several sightings.
The search has stopped for the day and will resume on Sunday morning.
China’s state news agency said a Chinese military aircraft had spotted three objects floating in the sea from an altitude of 300 metres.
They were coloured white, red and orange respectively, a statement on Saturday morning said.
The sighting followed reports of “multiple objects of various colours” by international flight crews on Friday.
Despite numerous possible wreckage sightings, nothing has yet been confirmed as part of the aircraft that disappeared on 8 March on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
A man, whose younger brother is a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, pauses as he smokes next to a message board dedicated to passengers onboard the flight at Lido Hotel in Beijing March 29, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Lee
The search is becoming increasingly urgent as batteries showing the location of in-flight voice recordings run out.
Authorities must find debris, calculate the crash area and recover the black boxes in about a week or vital clues to why the plane crashed will be lost.
Chinese ships trawled a new area on Saturday after Australian authorities moved the search 685 miles north in line with new analysis of radar and satellite data.
It showed the plane travelled faster and for a shorter distance than previously thought after vanishing from civilian radar screens.
AMSA cautioned that some items seen looked like they were from fishing boats and nothing could be confirmed until they were recovered by ships.
A relative of a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 sit next to lit candles before a prayer at Lido Hotel in Beijing March 29, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Lee
“We're hopeful to relocate some of the objects we were seeing yesterday,” Squadron Leader Flight Lieutenant Leon Fox, from the Royal New Zealand Air Force, said.
“Hopefully some of the ships in the area will be able to start picking it up and give us an indication of what we were seeing.”
The Chinese navy vessel Jinggangshan, which carries two helicopters, reached the new search area early on Saturday where it was expected to focus on searching for plane surfaces, oil slicks and life jackets in a sea area of some 6,900 sq km.
Another four Chinese vessels and one from Australia were on the way but would not arrive until late in the day.