Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Chinese patrol ship discovers pulse signal in southern Indian Ocean as plane spots white objects

Frequency matches the standard for a black box recorder

Chinese search crews have in the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have discovered a pulse signal matching that for a black box recorder, as well as a number of white floating objects in the search area, state media has reported.

A Chinese patrol ship detected the signal with a frequency of 37.5 kHz - the standard frequency for a black box recorder, while a Chinese air force plane spotted the debris in the search area.

However, there is no indication that either is from flight MH370.

"That is the standard beacon frequency for both so-called black boxes - the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder," said Anish Patel, president of pinger manufacturer Dukane Seacom told CNN.

The announcement came as international crews scoured the Indian Ocean for the flight's lost black boxes before the devices stop emitting locator ‘pings’. Mayalsia’s Defence Minister stressed the search had maintained its “vigour and intensity” a month after the aircraft vanished.

Read more: The key questions answered in search for missing plane
Mystery of missing plane ‘may never be solved,’ police warn

Both the Australian navy's Ocean Shield and the British HMS Echo were carrying sophisticated equipment that can hear the ‘pings’ on Saturday.

Up to 13 military and civilian planes and nine other ships were also taking part in the search, the agency coordinating the search said.

Finding floating wreckage is vital to narrowing the search area, as officials can harness data on currents to try to map where the plane hit the water, and where the flight recorders may be.

In turn, the recorders contain vital data, including clues as to why Flight MH370, along with the 239 people on board, veered off the usual course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. But the black box batteries only last a month – presenting search crews with a looming deadline.

If the signal beacons fall silent, the search will become more complicated.

During a press conference in Malaysian Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein gave a statement outlining his government’s determination to locate missing MH370 and slammed critics spouting conspiracy theories.

“We will continue to focus, with all our efforts, on finding the aircraft,” he told reporters, adding: “We are resolute to find a conclusion to this tragic chapter in aviation history.”

He said there are no more new satellite images or data that can provide new leads, and the focus now is fully on searching the ocean, rather than land.

Meanwhile, Australian Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, head of the joint agency coordinating the operation, acknowledged the search area was essentially a best guess, and noted the time when the plane's locator beacons would shut down was "getting pretty close."

The overall search area is a 217,000-square-kilometer (84,000-square-mile) zone in the southern Indian Ocean, about 1,700 kilometers (1,100 miles) northwest of the western Australian city of Perth.

The search area has shifted each day as investigators continue to analyze what little radar and satellite data is available while factoring in where any debris may have drifted.

Australia is coordinating the ocean search, and the investigation into the plane's disappearance is Malaysia's responsibility. Australia, the US, Britain and China have all agreed to be "accredited representatives" of the investigation.

A union that represents 30,000 pilots in North America, the Air Line Pilots Association, said in a statement that the Malaysia Airlines tragedy should lead to higher standards of plane tracking technology being adopted by the airline industry.

Additional reporting by AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Reprographics Operator

£12500 - £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest independent Reprogr...

Recruitment Genius: Web Design Apprentice

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well established websit...

Tradewind Recruitment: French & German Teacher

£120 - £145 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: French & German Teacher X2 Materni...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer / Systems Administrator

£25000 - £32500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in SW London, this compan...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee