Search Operation Spots Multiple Objects At New Search Area

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 – The shift to a fresh search zone for the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 has spotted multiple objects of various colours by five aircraft, during its Friday search. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said the objects cannot be verified or discounted as being from MH370 until they are relocated and recovered by ships.

“It is not known how much flotsam, such as from fishing activities, is ordinarily there. At least one distinctive fishing object has been identified,” it said in a statement Saturday. Yesterday, the search area for the missing MH370 has been shifted to a location 1,100 kilometres to the north-east based on updated advice provided by the international investigation team in Malaysia.

AMSA said although today’s weather conditions have improved in the area but the conditions are expected to deteriorate later in the day. It said eight aircraft are tasked for today’s search, including three Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orion, a Japanese Coast Guard jet and a Japanese P3 Orion. Also involve are a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion, a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force Ilyushin IL-76, and one civil jet acting as a communications relay, it said.

“The Chinese Maritime Safety Administration ship Haixun 01 has been on scene for relocating objects from first light,” it said. AMSA said the Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 departed for the search area at about 9.05am (Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time) while first RAAF P3 Orion departed at 9.50am. “The two other RAAF P3 Orion are scheduled to depart about 12pm and 2pm, respectively, while the civil jet is scheduled to depart about 1pm,” AMSA said.

The Japan Coast Guard jet, the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion and Japanese P3 Orion, will depart at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm respectively. “Six ships are expected to reach the search area today, tasked with relocating the objects sighted, but will arrive late in the day or after dark,” it said.

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