Multiple objects spotted by Australian plane turned out to be fishing gear

Multiple objects sighted at sea by an Australian P-3 Orion have been identified as fishing buoys, nets and other ocean flotsam.

A few were immediately identified and dism,issed as fishing buoys and nets, but the crew, captained by Flight Lieutenant Russell Adams, was more hopeful of "at least four orange coloured objects greater than approximately two metres in size each."

"We were able to detect many objects in the water today," Flight Lieutenant Adams said on the tarmac at RAAF Pearce on Sunday, as reported by The Sydney Mornig Herald.

"We were able to rule a few out as fishing buoys and fishing nets. However, of interest today we did encounter an area within approximately five nautical miles which included at least four orange coloured objects greater than approximately two metres in size each."

The flight lieutenant's initial optimistic assessment that these were "the most promising leads" has been deflated.

Australian search authorities ruled out the objects as possible plane debris hours later, based on images provided by the crew.

“The objects have been described as fishing equipment and other flotsam,” an Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) spokeswoman told Fairfax Media.

There have been growing sightings following a shift in the search zone to an area about 1,850 kilometres west of Perth on Friday.

The move closer to land had followed a revision of MH370's likely movements by international air crash investigators in Malaysia.

In the days that followed, aircraft have reported more than 10 sightings, none of which has surfaced as identifiable debris from the missing plane.

There are now eight ships scouring the search zone.

There had been no significant object sightings by late afternoon on Monday, an AMSA spokeswoman said.

The crew of a New Zealand P-3 Orion spotted 14 objects at sea, photographed two and dropped a GPS buoy on one, but none were considered significant. – March 31, 2014.