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Passenger ship with 450 on board sends distress signal

JINDO, South Korea, March 16 (Yonhap) -- A passenger ship carrying some 450 people on board was sinking in waters off South Korea's southwest coast on Wednesday, with a rescue operation underway, the Coast Guard said A total of some 450 people, mostly high school students on the way to Jeju Island on a school trip, were aboard the vessel when it sent out a distress signal at around 8:58 a.m. in waters 20 kilometers off the island of Byungpoong, officials said. The Coast Guard said it dispatched patrol boats and aircraft to the scene for rescue operations.

Chinese ship searching for MH370 detects 'pulse signal'

A Chinese ship involved in the Indian Ocean search for flight MH370 detected a "pulse signal" at a frequency used by aircraft black boxes Saturday, but Australia warned there was no evidence yet that it was linked to the missing plane. China's Xinhua news agency said the signal picked up by a black box detector on the vessel Haixun 01 had a frequency of 37.5kHz -- identical to the emergency beacon signal emitted by flight recorders.

Australia warns MH370 search could take 'long time'

Australia warned Tuesday the hunt for missing Flight MH370 could be long and frustrating as a vessel equipped with a specialised "black box" locator raced against the clock to reach the Indian Ocean search area. Despite an extensive multinational search southwest of Perth, no wreckage has been identified since the Malaysia Airlines plane vanished on March 8, with objects retrieved from the desolate seas turning out to be fishing gear or flotsam.

Search for fishing vessel in distress in Antarctica

There were grave concerns Monday for a fishing vessel that issued a distress signal from an area near Antarctica where debris has been sighted. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said it had detected an emergency distress beacon signal early Sunday about 648 kilometres (400 miles) north of the Antarctic mainland. A civilian jet and an RAAF P3 Orion tasked with finding the vessel, thought to be a 75-metre (250-feet) Tanzanian-flagged fishing support ship, failed to do so in flyovers of the remote southern Indian Ocean area.

Australia says fruitless MH370 search effort not wasted

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 kilometres (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.

At Cold War missile factory, elite rescuers drill for disaster

By John Shiffman PERRY, Georgia (Reuters) - On a cloudless, windswept Georgia morning 100 miles south of Atlanta, a rescuer dangled 30 feet in the air, secured by rappelling ropes, wielding a jackhammer, as he drove the drill into a massive concrete slab designed to mimic the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. It took about an hour to punch a hole big enough to reach mock disaster "victims" trapped between the slab and an exterior wall.

At Cold War missile factory, elite rescuers drill for disaster

By John Shiffman PERRY, Georgia (Reuters) - On a cloudless, windswept Georgia morning 100 milessouth of Atlanta, a rescuer dangled 30 feet in the air, secured by rappelling ropes, wielding a jackhammer, as he drove the drill into a massive concrete slab designed to mimic the 1985 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. It took about an hour to punch a hole big enough to reach mock disaster "victims" trapped between the slab and an exterior wall.

Australia says definite findings on MH370 debris in 2-3 days

Australia expects to make a quick deliberation on whether possible debris seen at sea is indeed from flight MH370, a report said Thursday, but a first spotter flight failed to locate anything in bad weather. Authorities should know something definite on the possible discovery of debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane within "two or three days", the Australian Associated Press quoted Defence Minister David Johnston as saying in Jakarta.

AMSA: Australian agency behind vast sea search

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), the agency leading efforts to find missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, has responsibility for a huge sea search area. The discovery of two objects Thursday that may have come from the jet which vanished with 239 people on board on March 8 holds out a possible breakthrough in the investigation.

Vietnam downgrades jet search from 'emergency to regular'

Vietnam has downgraded its search for a missing Malaysian airliner from "emergency to regular," an official said Friday, as the hunt shifted to the Indian Ocean and away from the South China Sea where the jet last made contact. Vietnam deployed three search planes on Friday, down from five on Thursday, according to search and rescue committee spokesman Nguyen Ngoc Son. He said Vietnam would consider helping search for missing flight MH370 in the Strait of Malacca on the other side of Malaysia, but said that no official request for such assistance had yet been received.
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