MH370 search area shifted on ‘new, credible lead’, says Australia

The search for wreckage of flight MH370 was shifted today to an area 1,100 kilometres northeast of where planes had been looking after "a new, credible lead", Australian authorities said.

"The new information is based on continuing analysis of radar data between the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca before radar contact was lost," the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.

"It indicated that the aircraft was travelling faster than previously estimated, resulting in increased fuel usage and reducing the possible distance the aircraft travelled south into the Indian Ocean."

The updated advice was provided by the international investigation team in Malaysia with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) determining "that this is the most credible lead to where debris may be located".

The new search area is approximately 319,000 square kilometres and around 1,850 kilometres west of Perth.

"ATSB advises the potential flight path may be the subject of further refinement as the international investigative team supporting the search continues their analysis," AMSA said, adding that Australia was re-positioning its satellites to the new area.

It follows Thailand reporting yesterday a satellite sighting of hundreds of floating objects. Japan also announced a satellite analysis indicated around 10 square floating objects in a similar area.

They were the second pair of sightings in two days suggesting a possible debris field from the Boeing 777, which vanished on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

Ten aircraft from six countries were involved in the search Friday with a further plane on standby.

Five Chinese ships and an Australian naval vessel were steaming to the new zone of interest, AMSA added. – AFP, March 28, 2014.