A pulse signal picked up by a Chinese patrol ship Saturday has not been confirmed as related to missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, according to China Maritime Search and Rescue Centre even as the search operation for the lost jet in the southern Indian Ocean made no headway by the end of the day.
A black box detector deployed by the Haixun 01 picked up the signal with a frequency of 37.5kHz per second at around 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east longtitude in southern Indian Ocean waters Saturday afternoon, Xinhua reported.
According to another Xinhua report, white floating objects were spotted Saturday by a Chinese military aircraft in the remote southern Indian Ocean search area west of Perth.
The crew of a Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 plane spotted numerous white floating objects in about 20 minutes starting from 11.05 a.m. and took pictures of them, Chinese military sources said.
The Chinese plane took off at 6.04 a.m. and reached the search area at 9.55 a.m.
The findings have been reported to Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) coordinating the operation after the plane returned to Perth at 2.20 p.m.
According to JACC, 10 military planes, three civil jets and 11 ships assisted in Saturday’s search for the missing jet.
The Australian defence vessel Ocean Shield and HMS Echo of the British navy continued underwater search operations.
Both the vessels, using a Towed Pinger Locator from the US Navy, Friday began the underwater search for emissions from the black-box pinger from flight MH370.
“The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has determined a search area of about 217,000 sq km, 1700 km northwest of Perth,” the JACC said in a update Saturday, that the day’s search operation would “focus on three areas within the same vicinity.”
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur shortly after midnight March 8.
The Boeing 777-200ER was scheduled to land in Beijing the same day. The 227 passengers on board included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.
Despite extensive scouring of the remote southern Indian Ocean area by planes and ships off the coast of Perth, where the plane is believed to have crashed, no trace has been found.