More Ships Head to Flight 370 Search Area
So Far Objects Recovered by Ships Not from Missing Plane
As the search for Malaysia Airlines Fight 370 drew to a close Saturday, a small flotilla of ships was headed to the newly-identified search area in the southern Indian Ocean where officials believe the plane may be found, while officials conducting the search reported that new items were spotted floating in the sea.
Authorities said that three additional ships had arrived on Saturday and more were scheduled to join the search Sunday, bringing the total number to nine. More are scheduled to arrive at the beginning of the week, according to Australian officials managing the search.
In a statement released midday Saturday, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said 252,000 square kilometers (97,297 square miles) were searched on Saturday.
The agency said that the search aircraft have “continued to report sightings of objects similar to those reported Friday.”
A Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 reported spotting three objects in the search area, while a Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion also reported multiple objects albeit in a different part of the search area.
Australia’s maritime safety agency cautioned that these objects “cannot be verified or discounted” as having come from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane until they are recovered by a ship. While two ships, the Haxtun 01 and HMAS Success have reported that they have retrieved a number of objects from the sea, none has been from MH370.
The search is set to resume again early Sunday.