Chinese and Australian ships have failed to identify objects from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 after their first day in a new search area.
The two ships retrieved objects from the Indian Ocean but none was confirmed to be from missing flight MH370, Australia’s maritime authority said.
Chinese aircraft also flew over the area, north-east of the previous zone, and have spotted more objects.
Malaysia Airlines jet disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board.
Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 and Australia’s HMAS Success “reported they have retrieved a number of objects from the ocean but so far no objects confirmed to be related to MH370 have been recovered”, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said late on Saturday.
Eight aircraft also took part in the operation. One Chinese plane reported spotting spotted three orange, white and red objects floating in the sea.
Some of the objects seen in the area have been very small, and officials cautioned that they may be sea junk.
AMSA said that “at least one distinctive fishing object has been identified”.
On Friday five search planes spotted multiple objects of various colors in the same area – about 700 miles north-east of the previous search zone.
Bad weather has hampered the search efforts in recent days.
Meanwhile Malaysia’s acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says he has reassured the families of the missing passengers that the search for any survivors will continue.
Some relatives of the flight’s 153 Chinese passengers have refused to accept the Malaysian account of events and have accused officials of withholding information.
Acting Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein: “If there is any lead or information that involves survivors, that has been our priority.”
“No matter how remote the search, I am always hoping against hope that we will find survivors,” Hishammuddin Hussein told the latest news conference following a meeting with the families on Saturday.
The Australian and Malaysian governments said on Friday the search area had been changed following further analysis of radar data that showed the plane had been travelling faster, thus burning more fuel.
This would reduce the possible distance the aircraft travelled south into the Indian Ocean, officials said.
Search efforts had until Friday morning focused on an area some 1,550 miles to the south-west of the Australian city of Perth.
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