11 objects spotted in search for flight MH370

An object floating in the water was seen on a computer screen on board a Royal New Zealand Air Force plane.

An object floating in the water was seen on a computer screen on board a Royal New Zealand Air Force plane.

A Chinese ship has arrived at the new search area to relocate objects thought to be part of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. Another five ships, including Australia's HMAS Success, are enroute and expected to arrive in the search zone later today.

The Chinese Maritime Safety Administration ship Haixun 01 has been on scene for relocating objects from first light.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion spotted 11 white rectangular objects in the Indian Ocean on Friday.

The cluster of objects is sitting just below the surface about 1600 kilometres west of Perth, New Zealand Air Vice-Marshal Kevin Short told media on Saturday.

"It's hard to identify because all you're seeing is this one-metre rectangular piece of material."

The 11 objects were within five metres of each other and there were objects up to a couple of hundred miles away as well, he said.

A marker flare is deployed into the Indian Ocean from a Royal New Zealand Air Force plane.

A marker flare is deployed into the Indian Ocean from a Royal New Zealand Air Force plane.

"There seems to be patches of these objects and that's not unexpected, looking at how long the aircraft's been missing.

"If they're from that aircraft it's not unusual to have them separated by hundreds of miles."

The plane carrying 239 people, including six Australians and two New Zealanders, disappeared on March 8.

The objects had been marked with a sonar buoy and four ships would be in the area on Saturday morning to retrieve them, Air Vice-Marshal Short said.

The objects would be photographed, with the images sent to investigators, then transported to Perth for further investigation, he said.

Earlier on Friday, the search area was shifted 1000 kilometres north-east after international air crash investigators had their ”most credible lead” yet.

The new area was calculated after analysis of radar data indicated the aircraft was travelling faster than previously thought, meaning it would have used its fuel more quickly and travelled less distance.

At 319,000 square kilometres, the new search area revealed on Friday is massive, almost the same size as the Malaysian land mass and roughly 50 per cent larger than Victoria.

Five aircraft also spotted coloured objects in the new search area on Friday.

Photographs of the objects were taken and were to be assessed overnight, while a Chinese ship in the new search area was directed towards the debris.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority emergency response manager John Young said all search planes and ships had been moved to the new zone.

"We have moved on from those search areas to the newest credible lead."

Any wreckage found would be handed over to Malaysian authorities.

The findings came with a warning from Malaysia Airlines of the effect that speculation about the flight's fate could have on the families.

"Whilst we understand that there will inevitably be speculation during this period, we do ask people to bear in mind the effect this has on the families of all those on board," the airline's group chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said.

"Their anguish and distress increases with each passing day, with each fresh rumour, and with each false or misleading report."

Mr Yahya said preparations were underway for family members of passengers and crew to be taken to Perth, should physical wreckage be found.

smh.com.au

Australian ship in search of MH370 black box, debris

Equipment to recover the ''black box'' flight recorder of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is being loaded on to an Australian naval vessel in Perth, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has told reporters.

At a media conference in Sydney on Saturday, Mr Abbott said the vessel would sail to the area where efforts to locate the wreckage of the missing plane are focused.

''It will be taken to the most prospective search area. If there is good reason to deploy it, it will be deployed,'' Mr Abbott said.

Mr Abbott said conditions for searching were ''benign'' on Saturday, but the Australian Maritime Safety Authority expects the weather to deteriorate later on Saturday.

The Chinese vessel Haixun 01 is in the new search area, 1850 kilometres due west of Perth trying to find objects spotted on Friday by surveillance aircraft.

Other vessels are on their way to the area but are not expected to arrive until much later, and possibly after nightfall.

Mr Abbott said on Saturday five aircraft spotted objects in the ocean, but the six vessels in and around the new search area were not able to recover any debris. Eight aircraft are being deployed to the search on Saturday.

''We should not under estimate the difficulty of this work,'' Mr Abbott said. ''It is an extraordinarily remote location. These are inhospitable seas, it's an inaccessible place. We are trying to find small bits of wreckage in a vast ocean and while we are throwing everything we have at it, the task goes on."

11 objects spotted

A Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion spotted 11 white rectangular objects in the Indian Ocean on Friday.

The cluster of objects is sitting just below the surface about 1600 kilometres west of Perth, New Zealand Air Vice-Marshal Kevin Short told media on Saturday.

"It's hard to identify because all you're seeing is this one-metre rectangular piece of material."

The 11 objects were within five metres of each other and there were objects up to a couple of hundred miles away as well, he said.

"There seems to be patches of these objects and that's not unexpected, looking at how long the aircraft's been missing.

"If they're from that aircraft it's not unusual to have them separated by hundreds of miles."

The plane carrying 239 people, including six Australians and two New Zealanders, disappeared on March 8.

The objects had been marked with a sonar buoy and four ships would be in the area on Saturday morning to retrieve them, Air Vice-Marshal Short said.

The objects would be photographed, with the images sent to investigators, then transported to Perth for further investigation, he said.

Search area redefined

Earlier on Friday, the search area was shifted 1000 kilometres north-east after international air crash investigators had their ”most credible lead” yet.

The new area was calculated after analysis of radar data indicated the aircraft was travelling faster than previously thought, meaning it would have used its fuel more quickly and travelled less distance.

At 319,000 square kilometres, the new search area revealed on Friday is massive, almost the same size as the Malaysian land mass and roughly 50 per cent larger than Victoria.

- DAN HARRISON, TOM ALLARD, smh.com.au, with AAP

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop