Latest MH370 Lead Turns Out to Be Nothing More Than Old Fishing Equipment

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 31 2014 10:24 AM

Latest MH370 Lead Turns Out to Be Nothing More Than Old Fishing Equipment

481495075-south-korean-navy-p-3c-orion-is-pictured-at-sunset
A South Korean Navy (ROKN) P-3C Orion is pictured at sunset after returning from a sortie over the southern Indian Ocean in search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, at RAAF Pearce Air Base in Bullsbrook, some 35kms north of Perth, on March 30, 2014

Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images

Those searching a patch of the southern Indian Ocean for debris from Flight 370 just got their latest reminder that the sea is full of trash and other objects that have nothing to do with the missing jetliner, via USA Today:

Orange objects spotted by a search plane hunting for wreckage from the missing Malaysia Airlines jet turned out to be nothing more than fishing equipment, Australian officials said Monday as Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott ....
On Sunday, an Australian pilot searching for the plane, which was lost with 239 people aboard, a majority of them from China, said his crew spotted four orange items that could serve as a "promising lead" in the investigation. But on Monday, Jesse Platts, a spokesman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, said the objects had been analyzed and officials had confirmed "they have nothing to do with the missing flight."
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Despite the latest false lead, Abbott suggested that Australia has no plans on giving up the search any time soon. The Australian prime minister told reporters in Perth—which is serving as the base for the search—that searchers are "well, well short" of any point where they would scale the hunt back despite the fact none of the objects spotted on satellite or from the air have been definitively linked to Flight 370. "We owe it to everyone to do whatever we reasonably can and we can keep searching for quite some time to come," he said, according to the Associated Press. "And, as I said, the intensity of our search and the magnitude of operations is increasing, not decreasing."

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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