Australia Ship Detects Singals Consistent with Aircraft Black Boxes
    2014-04-08 07:39:12       Web Editor: Fu Yu

Australia's navy vessel Ocean Shield has detected new signals in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.

It's now been a month since that jetliner left Kuala Lumpur on a flight to Beijing.

CRI's Alexander Aucott has more.


Malaysian authorities say they are cautiously hopeful following reports that the Australian vessel detected signals that are consistent with the pings from aircraft black boxes.

Malaysian Defence Minister and acting Transport Minister Hishammudin Hussein says the new ping signals are the most promising lead in the month-long hunt.

"The new developments over the last few hours has been the most promising lead we've had. I urge all Malaysians and the international community to unite in their prayers and not give up hope. We will continue with all our efforts to find MH370. Despite all this, we are cautiously hopeful that there will be a positive development in the next few days, if not hours."

The Australian vessel Ocean Shield picked up two separate signals in its search area in the southern Indian Ocean.

The first signal lasted two hours and 20 minutes before it was lost.

The ship then turned around and picked up a signal again which lasted 13 minutes.

If the Ocean Shield manages to pick up the signal again, the crew will launch an autonomous submarine that can dive to about 4,500 meters and scan for wreckage.

Angus Houston, the head of a joint agency coordinating the search, warns that it may take days to confirm whether signals picked up by the ship are indeed from the flight recorders on MH370.

"What I'd like to see now is us find some wreckage, because that will basically help solve the mystery and I would ask you to respect that because fundamentally without wreckage we can't say it's definitely here. We've got to go down and have a look and hopefully we'll find it somewhere in the area that we've narrowed to."

Houston also says since the sea floor in the area is approximately 4,500 meters and even deeper in some spots, the submarine will be operating to the limits of its capability.

Earlier, a Chinese vessel picked up signals consistent with flight recorders in an area which is over 500 kilometers away from the site where the Australian ship detected signals.
Four Chinese ships and a British ship continued the search in the area on Monday.

Chinese authorities say the vessels will enhance underwater search efforts, looking for possible wreckage.

Search teams are racing against time to locate the flight's black boxes, which contain flight data and cockpit voice recordings, as the devices' batteries last only about a month.
Today marks exactly one month since the plane disappeared.

Chinese families of the passengers on board MH370 have held a candlelight vigil in Beijing, marking the anniversary of the plane's disappearance.

Steve Wang is one of the organizers of the vigil.

"It's already been a month. You could say that in this month everyone has experienced a lot of pain, tragedy, despair, and feelings of helplessness. They've experienced much of this. But I believe that everybody will be able to get through this, so today, I wanted to say to everyone, we don't need to cry today. Today we want to say let's make an effort."

Family members have said that their greatest hope at the moment is to find the plane.

Most of the 227 passengers aboard the aircraft were Chinese.

For CRI, I'm Alexander Aucott.

Chinese Vessels Continue Hunt for Possible MH370 Signals

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