Taiwanese fishing boats in Indian Ocean join search for MH370
Central News Agency
2014-03-17 10:01 PM
Taipei, March 17 (CNA) Taiwanese deep sea fishing boats in the Indian Ocean have taken the initiative to join the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the Fishery Agency said Monday. Jack Huang, chairman of the National Fishermen's Association, has urged nearby vessels over radio broadcasts to help, asking them to make immediate reports if any leads are found, the agency said. According to the agency, Huang said that 400-500 deep sea fishing boats from Taiwan are operating in the Indian Ocean, where many speculate the missing plane may have crashed. The ships will assist in any possible rescue missions, Huang was quoted by the agency as saying. He added that there are even more fishing boats passing through the region on their way to the Atlantic. Taiwan had mobilized Navy and coast guard ships and a transport plane to comb the South China Sea for MH370, which disappeared March 8, though the search in the area was called off after Malaysian authorities said they no longer believe the plane will be found there. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday that investigators believe someone aboard the flight deliberately shut down communications and tracking systems, changed the flight course and continued to fly for nearly seven hours after disappearance. The plane could have headed northward from northern Thailand toward Kazakhstan or southward from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean, the prime minister said, greatly widening the radius from where search operations have been concentrated. Flight MH370 disappeared from radar screens and lost contact with air traffic controllers in the early hours of March 8 shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing. No debris from the plane has been discovered so far, leaving investigators perplexed and with few clues as to what might have happened. (By Yang Shu-ming and Elizabeth Hsu)
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