According to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), five aircraft have spotted “multiple objects of various colors” during Friday’s search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. Authorities will assess the photographic imagery of the objects overnight.
This comes after international air crash investigators in Malaysia provided a credible lead to AMSA, causing Friday’s search area to be shifted north on the advice of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). AMSA said today’s search activities concluded with a total of 256,000 square kilometers searched.
A total of ten planes were tasked by AMSA in today’s search and all have now departed the search area. A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion reported sighting a number of objects white or light in color and a fishing buoy. A Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion relocated the objects detected by the RNZAF Orion and reported it had seen two blue/grey rectangular objects floating in the ocean. A second RAAF P3 Orion spotted various objects of various colors in a separate part of the search area about 546 kilometers away.
The objects cannot be verified or discounted as being from MH370 until they are relocated and recovered by ships. AMSA said it has tasked Chinese Maritime Administration patrol ship, Haixun 01, which is in the search area and will be in a position to relocate the objects on Saturday.
There are now six vessels relocating to the new search area including HMAS Success, expected to arrive in the search area late tomorrow night, as well as five Chinese ships. A U.S.-towed pinger locator and Bluefin-21 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle have arrived in Perth to assist with location and recovery of the black box. Water depths in the search area range from 2,000-4,000 meters.
AMSA reported weather conditions in the area are expected to be reasonable for searching on Saturday.