MELBOURNE, April 8 – Plans to send a submarine to probe the deep ocean for the remains of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have been put on hold until another signal is received or it is certain batteries in the black box recorder have expired, ABC News reports. At the weekend, Australian Navy ship Ocean Shield picked up two acoustic signals “consistent” with those emitted by a black box recorder. With search for the ill-fated flight in its 32nd day, the international search team is focusing on a 600-kilometre arc in the southern Indian Ocean, about 1,600km off the West Australian coast. Air Chief Marshal Houston has confirmed that a pinger locator deployed by the Ocean Shield vessel had detected two sets of signals — the first lasting two hours and 20 minutes, and the second 13 minutes.
The signals were in addition to the “acoustic noise” the Ocean Shield picked up a few days ago, and the two electronic pulse signals identified by Chinese ship Haixun 01 at the weekend about 600 kilometres away. Houston said it was the “most promising lead” so far in the hunt for the plane, which went missing one month ago with 239 people on board, including six Australians. “What we need now is more confirmation in terms of finding something visually. Some wreckage, perhaps on the ocean floor, or some wreckage on the surface,” he told ABC Radio on Tuesday. But Houston said the chances of finding something on the surface were “diminishing with time”.