MH370 search: Ships deployed to verify pulse signals

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File photo: China's patrol vessels seen at a port before leaving for search and rescue operations for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in Sanya, Hainan province.

PERTH: Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) head retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston says Australia is taking the latest lead in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 seriously.

Houston said Royal Navy Ship HMS Echo and Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield are being diverted to verify or discount the electronic pulse signals detected by Chinese ship, Haixun 01.

"The fact the ship made two detection has provided some promise," he said.

However he urged the media to treat the information carefully and reiterated that it remained unverified.

Houston added that HMS Echo should be at the scene fairly quickly while Ocean Shield is investigating another acoustic detection which is also being taken seriously.

HMS Echo will take 14 hours to get to the new location.

Up to 10 military planes, two civil planes and 13 ships will assist in Sunday's search for missing MH370.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has three separate search areas planned for today about 2,000km northwest of Perth, which totals approximately 216,000 sq km. Weather in the search area is expected to be good with a cloud base of 2,500 feet and visibility greater than 10km.

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