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MH370 CRASH: 5 aircraft spotted multiple objects during Friday's search
Publication Date : 29-03-2014
Multiple objects of various colours spotted on Friday as search operations were shifted to a new site west of Perth based on new leads
Five aircraft spotted multiple objects of various colours during Friday's hunt for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, as search operations were shifted to a new site west of Perth based on "the latest credible lead".
The Australian Maritime Security Authority (AMSA), which is coordinating the multi-nation search, said photographic images of the objects will be assessed overnight.
"The objects cannot be verified or discounted as being from MH370 until they are relocated and recovered by ships,'' it said in a statement on Friday night.
A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion reported sighting a number of objects white or light in colour and a fishing buoy, according to the statement.
A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orion relocated the objects detected by the RNZAF Orion and also reported it had seen two blue/grey rectangular objects floating in the ocean.
A second RAAF P3 Orion spotted objects of various colours in a separate part of the search area about 546 kilometres away.
AMSA said a total of 10 planes searched an area of 256,000 sq km in the southern corridor on Friday. It expected weather conditions to be "reasonable for searching" on Saturday.
The maritime authority has tasked Chinese Maritime Administration patrol ship, Haixun 01, which is in the search area, to relocate the objects on Saturday.
Friday's search area was shifted north after international air crash investigators in Malaysia provided the "latest credible lead available", said AMSA.
The new search area is in a region with relatively calmer conditions.
Murdoch University's professor of marine science Lynnath Beckley told The Straits Times: "It's still a long way to fly, but the waves are lower and the search area is now out of the 'roaring forties'."
The area where the search was previously centered is notorious for its windy conditions and high swell, which makes the search particularly difficult.
If the search party had remained in the search area, it would have had to contend with wind speed of above 20 knots for most of the day, as well as waves of between three and four metres.