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

surgery wait times

Surrey Memorial tops surgical wait times exceeding one year, could be fined for backlog of bookings

ADRIAN MACNAIR SURREY NOW  METRO VANCOUVER — Fraser Health could face $2.5 million in fines over a backlog of surgical wait times in hospitals across the…
Continue Reading »

"There is No Honour in Violence Against Women" Campaign

MOSAIC tackles ‘honour-based’ violence against women and girls (w/video)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Non-profit immigrant settlement agency MOSAIC B.C. launched a campaign Friday to raise awareness about ‘honour-based’ violence against women and girls. The…
Continue Reading »

Social Responsibility

Surrey Food Bank’s annual open house to show off renovations

SURREY NOW  ‘Tis the season, and the Surrey Food Bank is kicking things off with its annual open house. Set for this Saturday (Nov. 29),…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

surgery wait times

Surrey Memorial tops surgical wait times exceeding one year, could be fined for backlog of bookings

ADRIAN MACNAIR SURREY NOW  METRO VANCOUVER — Fraser Health could face $2.5 million in fines over a backlog of surgical wait times in hospitals across the…
Continue Reading »

BC teachers strike-politics

Christy Clark throws support behind Amrik Virk taking ethical fire

NDP insists B.C. premier should fire advanced education minister for helping bypass provincial pay rules while on board of Kwantlen University ROB SHAW POSTMEDIA NEWS  VICTORIA…
Continue Reading »

Football

Hard work paying off for North Surrey junior bantams

PATRICK JOHNSTON VANCOUVER DESI It’s championship weekend all across B.C., and another group of hardscrabble youth have a tale of their own: the junior bantam…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

BC teachers strike-politics

Christy Clark throws support behind Amrik Virk taking ethical fire

NDP insists B.C. premier should fire advanced education minister for helping bypass provincial pay rules while on board of Kwantlen University ROB SHAW POSTMEDIA NEWS  VICTORIA…
Continue Reading »

FASHION-PAKISTAN-AAMNA-AQEEL

Gallery: The bold and beautiful strut their stuff at Pakistan Fashion Week

VANCOUVER DESI Pakistan’s bold and beautiful models presented the Autumn/Winter 2014 collections at the three-day long Fashion Week in Karachi. The Pakistan Fashion Week has…
Continue Reading »

Black-Friday-Sale-1

Coupon Queen: Tips for Surviving Black Friday Mania

RUBY BEDI BAINS VANCOUVER DESI You may be planning on crossing the border to head to the US but take note Canadian retailers have embraced…
Continue Reading »

murder-British-India

South African judge will decide whether to throw out honeymoon murder case

CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA THE ASSOCIATED PRESS JOHANNESBURG — A South African judge will rule Dec. 8 on whether to dismiss the murder case against a British…
Continue Reading »

Surrey-crime-stats

Surrey mom who lost her daughter to a drunk driver calls for tougher laws

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — Dare to know how many times police in B.C. issued Immediate Roadside Prohibitions for impaired driving over the past…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Salman Khan's sister Arpita's wedding

Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha rubbishes reports of teary tiff with Salman Khan at Arpita’s wedding

HINDUSTAN TIMES On Thursday (November 27), a report suggested that Sonakshi Sinha was reduced to tears at Arpita Khan’s wedding reception after an alleged argument…
Continue Reading »

Irrfan Khan

Bollywood’s Irrfan Khan already in talks for another project with Steven Spielberg after Jurassic World

HINDUSTAN TIMES While he has proven his acting prowess in Hindi films time and again, Irrfan Khan is also, perhaps, India’s best-known export to the…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood movie

Ungli: Relevant and Timely, ‘Ungli’ fingers the corrupt (w/trailer)

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS  Film: “Ungli”; Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Emraan Hashmi, Randeeo Hooda,Kangna Ranaut, Neel Bhoopalam, Angad Bedi, Neha Dhupia; Directed by Rensil d’Silva; Rating:…
Continue Reading »