CANBERRA- Australian authorities searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 denied their fruitless scouring of the southern Indian Ocean had been a waste of time Friday, as they shifted to a new search area.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has been coordinating an international hunt for the missing Boeing 777 in hostile waters some 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) southwest of Perth for 11 days.
But no debris has been found and new analysis of radar and satellite data identified an area nearer to land and further north as the likely crash site.
“That is now our best place to go,” AMSA chief John Young told reporters in Canberra announcing a new search zone 1,100 kilometers northeast of the previous area.
Young said that switching the search area was a normal part of such an operation and did not devalue the sorties already flown by military and commercial planes and journeys made by vessels so far.
“That’s actually nothing unusual for search and rescue operations, this actually happens to us all the time,” Young said of the new twist in the search for the plane which went missing on March 8 with 239 people on board.
“This is the normal business of search and rescue operations, that new information comes to light, refined analysis take you to a different place. I don’t count the original work a waste of time.”