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Search to resume on Sunday for flight MH370: Update 10

Sunday 23 March 2014
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority search operation for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has concluded for today.

During Saturday'’s search activities a civil aircraft tasked by AMSA reported sighting a number of small objects with the naked eye, including a wooden pallet, within a radius of five kilometres.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion aircraft with specialist electro-optic observation equipment was diverted to the location, arriving after the first aircraft left but only reported sighting clumps of seaweed.

The RNZAF Orion dropped a datum marker buoy to track the movement of the material. A merchant ship in the area has been tasked to relocate and seek to identify the material.

The search area experienced good weather conditions on Saturday with visibility of around 10 kilometres and moderate seas.

The Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal New Zealand Air Force, two chartered civil aircraft and two merchant ships supported Saturday's search effort in a 36,000 square kilometre search area in the Australian Search and Rescue Region.

Since AMSA assumed coordination of the search on Monday 17 March, 15 sorties have been flown and more than 150 hours of air time has been committed by the air crews to the task.

Four military aircraft assisted in today's search, as well as two ultra-long range jets. Ten State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers from Western Australia were tasked as air observers today, along with two AMSA mission coordinators on the civilian aircraft. AMSA runs a training program across the country to train SES volunteers in air observation for land and sea searches.

The Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Success has arrived in the search area. Two merchant ships are also in the search area.

The search will resume tomorrow and further attempts will be made to establish whether the objects sighted are related to MH370.

This evening China provided a satellite image to Australia possibly showing a 22.5 metre floating object in the southern Indian Ocean. AMSA has plotted the position and it falls within Saturday’s search area. The object was not sighted on Saturday.

AMSA will take this information into account in tomorrow's search plans.

Enquiries: media@amsa.gov.au

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