Latest objects spotted in hunt for missing Malaysia plane just fishing equipment

Published: March 31, 2014

This shadow of a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion aircraft is seen on low cloud cover while it searches for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, over the Indian Ocean on March 31, 2014. ROB GRIFFITH/AFP/Getty Images

ROB GRIFFITH and GILLIAN WONG
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

PERTH, Australia — A cluster of orange objects spotted by a search plane was just fishing equipment and not related to the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, officials said Monday, in the latest disappointment in the three-week hunt that Australia’s prime minister said will continue indefinitely.

The crew of an Australian P-3 Orion saw at least four orange objects that were more than 2 metres (6 feet) in size on Sunday, and the pilot, Flight Lt. Russell Adams, dubbed the sighting their most promising lead in the search for Flight 370. But on Monday, Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokesman Jesse Platts said an analysis confirmed the objects “have nothing to do with the missing flight.”

It’s a frustrating pattern in the hunt for the Boeing 777, which vanished while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 with 239 people aboard: Search crews have repeatedly spotted multiple objects floating in the search area of the southern Indian Ocean, only for officials to later rule out links to the missing plane.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Monday acknowledged the search was incredibly complex, but said officials were “well, well short” of any point where they would scale back the hunt.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak plans to travel to Perth on Wednesday to see the search operations firsthand.

The search has evolved as experts sifted through the limited radar and satellite data, moving from the seas off Vietnam, to waters west of Malaysia and Indonesia, and then to several areas west of Australia.

“This is an extraordinarily difficult exercise. … We are searching a vast area of ocean and we are working on quite limited information,” Abbott said, adding that the best brains in the world and all the technological mastery is being applied to the task.

“If this mystery is solvable, we will solve it,” he said.

He said the search is operating on guestimates “until we locate some actual wreckage from the aircraft and then do the regression analysis that might tell us where the aircraft went into the ocean.”

Ten planes and 11 ships were in or headed to the search zone about 1,850 kilometres (1,150 miles) west of Australia on Monday, but AMSA said late Monday that nothing of significance was found. The flying time to the 254,000 square kilometre (98,000 square mile) search zone is about 2 1/2 hours, allowing a five-hour search before planes must return to Perth.

Former Australian defence chief Angus Houston on Monday began his job of heading the new Joint Agency Coordination Center, which will oversee communication with international agencies involved in the search. The Perth-based centre will position Australia to shoulder more of Malaysia’s co-ordination responsibilities as the search drags on.

Houston will also play a prime co-ordination role when victims’ families travel to Australia in the weeks ahead.

Abbott said he was not putting a time limit on the search. “We owe it to everyone to do whatever we reasonably can and we can keep searching for quite some time to come … and, as I said, the intensity of our search and the magnitude of operations is increasing, not decreasing.”

The Ocean Shield, an Australian warship which is carrying a U.S. device that detects “pings” from the flight recorders, left Perth on Monday evening for the search zone, a trip that will take three to four days. AMSA, which is co-ordinating the search, said it conducted sea trials on Monday afternoon to test the search equipment on board.

The search area remains vast, so investigators are hoping to first find debris floating on the ocean surface that will help them calculate where the plane crashed into the water.

Meanwhile, several dozen Chinese relatives of Flight 370 passengers visited a Buddhist temple near Kuala Lumpur on Monday to pray for their loved ones. They offered incense, bowed their heads in a moment of silence, knelt several times during the prayers and lowered their heads. Buddhist nuns handed out prayer beads to them. “You are not alone,” one nun said. “You have the whole world’s love, including Malaysia’s.”

Several of the relatives were overcome with emotion, tears streaming down their faces.

The family members later made a brief statement to journalists, expressing their appreciation to the Chinese government and the people of Malaysia and the volunteers who have been assisting them. They bowed in gratitude but said they were still demanding answers.

“To those who are guilty of harming our loved ones, hiding the truth, and delaying the search and rescue, we will also definitely not forgive them,” said a family representative, Jiang Hui.

The comments were seen as a small conciliatory move after relatives staged an angry protest in front of reporters on Sunday at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur. At the time, they chanted slogans, raised banners and called on the Malaysian government to apologize for what they dubbed missteps in the handling of the disaster.

Related stories:

———
Wong reported from Kuala Lumpur. Associated Press writers Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Kristen Gelineau in Sydney, and Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, contributed to this report.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

Nepal earthquake

Almost 1400 killed in deadly Nepal earthquake that shook Everest

BINAJ GURUBACHARYA And MUNEEZA NAQVI THE ASSOCIATED PRESS KATHMANDU, Nepal — Tens of thousands of people were spending the night in the open under a…
Continue Reading »

Surrey Six

Forum at Surrey gurdwara to address recent shootings and drugs-related violence

‘The gurdwara feels responsible to pro-actively engage with the public in stopping this senseless violence’ SURREY NOW SURREY — Eileen Mohan, the mother of “Surrey…
Continue Reading »

police-Newton-desi-Vancouver-BC

Surrey NDP MPs Jinny Sims and Jasbir Sandhu call on Tories to help stop shootings

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — Surrey’s NDP MPs are calling on the federal Conservative government to do something to help stop a flurry of…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Urban search and rescue troops and medics prepare to deploy to devastated Nepal

By Murray Brewster THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — The Harper government stepped up its response to earthquake-ravaged Nepal on Sunday by dispatching advance elements of…
Continue Reading »

Urban search and rescue troops and medics prepare to deploy to devastated Nepal

By Murray Brewster THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — The Harper government stepped up its response to earthquake-ravaged Nepal on Sunday by dispatching advance elements of…
Continue Reading »

Urban search and rescue troops and medics prepare to deploy to devastated Nepal

By Murray Brewster THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — The Harper government stepped up its response to earthquake-ravaged Nepal on Sunday by dispatching advance elements of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Hollywood-Bollywood

Harold & Kumar actor Kal Penn stars in film being shot in B.C.

MICHAEL D. REID TIMES COLONIST Kal Penn is coming to town to star in The Girl in the Photographs, a horror feature that began shooting…
Continue Reading »

PARENTS-VIOLENCE

Video shows a mom beating school staff after her daughter was stopped from carrying cellphone

  HINDUSTAN TIMES A woman allegedly beat up the director of a school in Jalandhar after her daughter was stopped from carrying a mobile phone…
Continue Reading »

fetish-desi sex-school girl-viral video

Video shows a young girl being brutally beaten with a stick, kicked by her father

VANCOUVER DESI A viral video of a father brutally beating up a young girl will make you shiver with anger and disgust, and want to…
Continue Reading »

gang life prevention

End Gang Life: Problems surrounding gun violence run deeper than skin colour or culture

SGT. LINDSEY HOUGHTON SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Kids are shooting at each other.  The violence these children are engaged in with each other has now…
Continue Reading »

desi sex-video-lust-bollywood

Video shows how a woman reacted when a pervert kept staring at her breasts

VANCOUVER DESI In a conservative country like India, where women’s rights are suppressed way too often, what do you do when a lecherous man won’t…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Desi-sex-boobs-india-porn-bollywood

Indo-Canadian actress Sunny Leone: People write all sort of crazy stories about me

HINDUSTAN TIMES Actor Sunny Leone, recently hit headlines when she was quoted as saying that she doesn’t like being compared to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The…
Continue Reading »

Deepika Padukone

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone not interested in donning producer’s hat

HINDUSTAN TIMES While many of her contemporaries like Anushka Sharma and Ranbir Kapoor have entered the realm of film production, actor Deepika Padukone says that…
Continue Reading »

Kangana Ranaut

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut “had to learn triple jump for Tanu Weds Manu Returns”

HINDUSTAN TIMES We have seen actor Kangana Ranaut play a Delhi girl many times. Be it the flamboyant Tanu in Tanu weds Manu (2011) or…
Continue Reading »