Update: The four orange objects identified as items of interest in the 23-day old search for MH370 have turned out to be yet more fishing gear littering the ocean.

An Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokesperson confirmed to thewest.com.au that the objects were unrelated and that nothing new had been sighted today.

An Australian P-3 Orion search plane spotted at least four orange objects in waters west of Perth on Sunday and were described by Orion pilot Russell Adams as the most promising lead in the search so far.

But despite yet another false alarm, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the search will not be scaled down.

Mr Abbott warned while touring Pearce Air Base that the search would be long but that Australian was in for the long haul.

“Australia owes it to the world to do everything it can to aid the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370,” Mr Abbott said.

“This is a major international incident and Australia has the lead responsibility, if you like, for operations inside our search and rescue zone.”

Mr Abbott said each country involved in the search was currently bearing its own costs and Australia was paying for running the co-ordination centre, which will have about 20 staff and be led by retired air chief marshall Angus Houston from its Perth CDB headquarters.

“It’s a cost that we think is only reasonable - as the country in whose search and rescue zone the aircraft has come down - it’s only reasonable that we should bear this cost,” he said.

“It’s an act of international citizenship on Australia’s part.

“At some point, there may need to be a reckoning, some kind of tallying, but nevertheless we are as happy to be as helpful as we can to all of the countries with a stake in this.”


The search operation is being co-ordinated from the State Government's crisis centre.

An Australian navy vessel carrying special equipment to detect signals from black box recorders will join the hunt for MH370 after testing this afternoon.

The Ocean Shield will conduct sea trials in Cockburn Sound.

An Australian P-3 Orion spotted four orange-coloured objects at sea, each more than two metres in size, late yesterday.

VIDEO: FLIGHT MH370 RECREATED | MH370: Leave your tribute |

The co-ordinates and images of the items, the latest to be sighted, were "of interest" but would need to be analysed, Flight Lieutenant Russell Adams said at RAAF Pearce base after returning from an 11-hour mission on Sunday night.

Authorities say that earlier objects scooped out of the ocean off WA are not part of MH370.


Ten aircraft from seven countries will join 10 ships in the search and recovery operation today.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will be at the base in the afternoon.


AMSA said the search resumed at 6am with 10 aircraft from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, South Korea, the US and Malaysia involved.

HMAS Success and HMAS Toowoomba, seven Chinese ships and a merchant vessel are combing the water for debris.

Some parts of the search zone are expected to experience low cloud and rain.

US Navy Officer Captain Mark Matthews, who will today lead the search for MH370 debris, says finding the missing passenger jet in the current circumstances is "untenable".

"It all depends on how effective we are at reducing the search area," Captain Matthews said.

"Right now, the search area is basically the size of the Indian Ocean, which is an untenable amount of time to search."

An object floats in the southern Indian Ocean in this picture taken from a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft searching for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, March 29, 2014. Photo: AAP Image/Reuters Pool, Jason Reed

A GPS buoy had also been dropped in the area of the sighting, Lt Adams said.

Similarly, the specialist US Navy technology on board the Ocean Shield will not be able to detect the "pinger" within the plane's black box until a more confined search area is identified.

Mr Houston has been named to co-ordinate the international search effort for the plane carrying 239 passengers and crew, which disappeared more than three weeks ago.


On board a P3 Orion: first hand account

AMSA image of the MH370 search area for Sunday, 30 March.

MH370 disappeared on March 8 after veering sharply off course while heading from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers, including six Australians, and crew.

Investigators believed the Boeing 777 crashed in the southern Indian Ocean off WA, where planes and ships have been looking for more than two weeks in the hope of recovering debris.

HMAS Toowoomba was due to leave a Perth naval base on Saturday afternoon and help with the search after being diverted from other operational tasks.

It will take with it a S-70B2 Seahawk helicopter.

The plane and its passengers have been missing for three weeks, but Malaysia's transport minister has vowed to continue the search for "possible survivors."

"No matter how remote the odds, we will pray, hope against hope, and continue to search for possible survivors," Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters on Saturday during a condolence visit to relatives of Malaysian passengers and crew.

Malaysia says the plane was deliberately diverted from its planned flight path, and investigations have focused on the captain.

Malaysian police, the US Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation, Chinese intelligence and Britain's MI6 are involved in the investigation.

The West Australian

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