KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — The search and rescue (SAR) operation to locate the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean has been completed for today, said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
AMSA in its statement issued at 2300 hours of the Australian Eastern Daylight Time Day (AEDT), which is about 8pm Malaysian time, said the SAR operation would resume tomorrow.
“Four aircraft were tasked by AMSA (today) to a 23,000 sq km area about 2,500km south-west of Perth,” following receipt of satellite imagery from the Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organisation this morning, it said.
The aircraft involved in the SAR are two Royal Australia Air Force AP-3C Orions, a United States Navy P8 Poseidon, a Royal New Zealand Air ForceP-3K2 Orion were utilised, along with an RAAF C-130J Hercules aircraft.
The statement said a merchant ship arrived in the search area this evening, and another merchant ship was en route to the area.
“A total of six merchant ships have assisted in the search since a shipping broadcast was issued on Monday night. A Royal Australian Navy ship, HMAS Success is also en route to the search area,” it added.
Meanwhile, AMSA said the images were captured on Sunday.
However, due to the volume of imagery being searched, and the detailed process of analysis that followed, the information was brought to AMSA’s attention this morning, it said in the statement uploaded in its website today.
“The images have been assessed as being credible but it is possible they do not relate to the search,” noted the statement.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott earlier today said the satellite imagery found two objects possibly related to the search for the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370.
The Boeing 777-200ER aircraft carrying 239 passengers and crew left Kuala Lumpur on March 8 for Beijing, and has been missing for 13 days now.
Earlier today, AMSA said the first aircraft, Royal Australia Air Force AP-3C Orions which arrived at the location where the two objects were detected, could not find them as bad weather limited crew visibility. — Bernama