Missing Plane: Ship Detects Signal In Ocean


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A patrol ship searching for the missing Malaysian passenger jet has detected a pulse signal in the Indian Ocean, Chinese state media has reported.

Xinhua news agency said the signal discovered by Chinese vessel Haixun 01 had a frequency of 37.5kHz - the same as that emitted by black-box devices.

A Chinese air force plane has also spotted a number of white floating objects in the search area, according to Xinhua.

The Joint Agency Coordination Centre in Australia, where the search is being overseen, confirmed a signal had been reported, but said its origin remained unknown.


Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said: "The characteristics reported are consistent with the aircraft black box. A number of white objects were also sighted on the surface about 90 kilometres from the detection area.

"However, there is no confirmation at this stage that the signals and the objects are related to the missing aircraft."

Australian authorities are now considering sending air force crews to the area the signal was reported.

The signal was detected approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres) northwest of Perth 10 hours after news channels in China reported that the three Chinese vessels looking for MH370 had relocated to a new search area north of that designated by Australian authorities.

Even if the signal is from the black box, it could take weeks to recover it according to Australian defence minister David Johnston.

Sky News understands the Malaysians were informed of the development by the Chinese government a few hours before the news emerged.


Radar expert Professor David Stupples told Sky News: "If there has been a signal received, it could be the black box or it could be something extraneous.

"I don't know anything (else) that puts out the 37.5kHz signal."

Prof Stupples said he would remain "sceptical" until further evidence emerged.

He added: "My worry is the range. If this is in 2,000-3,000 metres of water, the range of the pinger is one to two kilometres at best.

"My recommendation would be to move the ships with the pinger locators very much closer to this, first of all to confirm this is the signal, and then two or three ships around it to do triangulation to fix the location."

Search teams are facing a race against time to find the black box, which a month after the plane went missing is likely to be running out of battery.

It comes after Malaysia's transport minister denied "extraordinary" claims the country was complicit in the disappearance of flight MH370.


In an interview with Sky News on Friday, Mayalsia's main opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said the investigation had been "clearly suspect" and alleged "complicity by authorities on the ground".

But speaking at a news conference, acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein said: "Let me touch on some unfounded allegations made against Malaysia.

"These allegations include the extraordinary assertion that Malaysian authorities were somehow complicit in what happened to MH370.

"I would like to state for the record that these allegations are completely untrue.

"As I've said before, the search for MH370 should be above politics, and so I call on all Malaysians to unite, to stand by our armed forces as they work in difficult conditions thousands of miles from home, and to support all those who are working tirelessly in the search for MH370."

It was also revealed at the news conference that British nuclear submarine HMS Tireless had entered the search area.


The vessel was expected to play a crucial role in the quest to find the plane's black box, which could hold the key to solving the mystery of what happened.

"I spoke via telephone to the British Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, regarding the nuclear submarine HMS Tireless," said Mr Hussein.

"I hereby confirm the submarine is now in the search area and helping in the search operation."

Up to 10 military planes, three civilian jets and 11 ships have been scouring more than 1,000 square miles of sea off the west coast of Australia.