Flight 370 Sunday Report: ‘Nothing Yet Verified,’ New Agency to Coordinate Support Announced
MH370 Searchers Attempt to Rescue Fishing Boat Near Antartica
There were no breakthroughs as the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner drew to a closer Sunday, but there was an attempt to rescue a fishing vessel in distress.
In a statement released late Sunday, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said 252,000 square kilometers (97,297 square miles) were searched. The search included nine aircraft, as only one Malaysian Air Force C-130 Hercules planes joined in instead of the two that were announced. Other aircraft included two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orions, a Japanese P3 Orion, a Chinese
People’s Liberation Army Air Force Ilyushin IL-76, a Republic of Korea NavyP3 Orion, a United States Navy P8 Poseidon, and two civil aircraft. They were joined by eight ships as well as a merchant ship that was transiting through the area. The agency said that this was “the greatest number of ships tasked in the search to date.”
It also reported that “nothing has yet been verified as being from MH370.”
Unlike in past days, the weather was reported to have been “reasonable for searching” with visibility in excess of 6.2 miles or ten kilometers.
The agency reported that the ADV Ocean Shield has been fitted with a black box detector and an autonomous underwater vehicle and is scheduled to depart from Perth Monday.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the creation of the Joint Agency Coordination Center, a new body that will coordinate the government’s support for the search of Flight 370 and that will also support family members who might travel to Australia if debris is located. He appointed former Chief of the Defense Force Air Marshal Angus Houston to head the body.
Meanwhile, dozens of Chinese family members, frustrated by a lack of information in Beijing, flew to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday to seek answers from Malaysian authorities.
Earlier on Sunday, the Australian Rescue Coordination Center reported receiving a signal from an emergency distress beacon emanating from a fishing vessel believed to be in the far southern Indian Ocean near Antartica. A Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion was reassigned from the MH370 search and sent to fly to the area to investigate and render assistance if possible.