Back to base: A picture taken aboard an AP-3C Orion at high altitude transiting back to the airbase in Perth after an 11-hour search mission for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean. -AFP
PERTH: Australia said improved weather will allow the hunt for the plane to resume today after gale-force winds and heavy rain forced a daylong delay. Searchers face a daunting task of combing a vast expanse of choppy seas for suspected remnants of the aircraft sighted earlier.
“We’re not searching for a needle in a haystack – we’re still trying to define where the haystack is,” Australia’s deputy defence chief, Air Marshal Mark Binskin, told reporters at a military base here as idled planes stood behind him yesterday.
Australian and Chinese search planes spotted floating objects in an area 2,500km southwest of Perth on Monday, but none was retrieved.
Now, with the 24-hour delay in the search, those objects and other possible debris from the plane could drift to an even wider area.
“A visual search will resume when the weather is expected to improve after gale-force winds and heavy swells resulted in the suspension of the search operation on Tuesday,” said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is overseeing the search out of Perth.
In Brisbane, the family members of an Australian couple on board the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have spoken of their heartbreak after Malaysian officials announced the flight ended in the southern Indian Ocean with no survivors.
Brisbane couple Rod and Mary Burrows were among the 239 people on board who were believed dead in the ocean, local media reported on Tuesday
They were on holiday with their friends when they boarded the MH370 flight.
The couple’s son Jayden Burrows told reporters in Brisbane yesterday that his parents worked hard to reap the rewards of their retirement so they could travel and spend time with friends and family.
“We dearly love and will miss our mum and dad,” he said.
“The love and compassion that they shared and their priority of putting their family first will help us get through this together.
“We’re heartbroken that their lives have been cut short. “
The couple had three children and were expecting their first grandchild in April, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. — Agencies