|The Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, awaits orders for the search of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at the port of Perth, a southwestern port city of Australia, March 20, 2014. Xuelong will set off to the waters where suspected debris of the missing flight MH370 has been found, according to the State Oceanic Administration of China. (Xinhua/Tang Zhijian)|
ABOARD XUELONG, March 21 -- Chinese icebreaker Xuelong is set to head for the southern Indian Ocean on Friday to search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
Upon arrival at the western Australian port of Fremantle for replenishment on Friday morning, the long-serving Antarctic research vessel received orders from the State Oceanic Administration of China to join the hunt.
Xuelong's captain, Wang Jianzhong, said 87 crew members will participate in the mission and the ship is trying to store as many supplies as possible.
Meanwhile, the multinational search for the Malaysian flight continued as four aircraft of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) have left Perth for the search area, the agency announced.
AMSA said a RAAF P3 Orion has left at about 12:45 pm local time and will join two other P3 Orions and an ultra long range Bombadier Global Express jet.
Due to the distance to and from the search area, the planes involved have about 2 hours of search time, said AMSA, whose website has been confirmed straining and thus often inaccessible due to mounting visitors.
A U.S.Navy P8 Poseidon plane will head for the search area at about 16:00 pm.