UK & World News
MH370 Search: Satellite Spots '300 Objects'
Thailand says satellite images show 300 objects floating in the ocean in the hunt for wreckage from flight MH370, which has been scaled back due to bad weather.
The items, ranging from two to 15 metres (6.5 to 50 feet) in size, were scattered over an area about 1,700 miles southwest of Perth, according to the country's space agency.
Japan is also reported to have captured satellite images of 10 objects, which may be plane debris.
The latest satellite evidence comes as search aircraft were recalled to Perth due to poor weather conditions, which are expected to last 24 hours.
But eight ships will stay in the area and attempt to continue scouring the remote southern Indian Ocean where previous satellite images showed what could be a debris field.
The operation has already been suspended once this week because of the weather.
International teams set off early on Thursday morning local time to continue the search, but by early afternoon the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the hunt, said all planes had been forced to leave the search zone due to heavy rains, strong winds, low clouds and reduced visibility.
On returning to Perth, Captain Mike MacSween, who is on attachment with the Royal Australian Air Force, said poor visibility meant he had to fly as low as 200 feet to keep the ocean surface in sight.
He told a news conference: "The conditions are definitely difficult.
"With the rain showers and reduced visibility, and the concentration required to try and pick up something visually made it difficult for the crew."
It took four hours to reach the search area and the crew had up to two-and-a-half hours search time before having to head back.
He added: "The crew are still motivated and hopefully we are going to be able to find something soon."
Before the weather deteriorated, crews were trying to find signs of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 in an area around 1,550 miles (2,500 km) southwest of Perth, Western Australia, after a French satellite spotted 122 objects, suspected to be debris.
Malaysian officials said the items, between one metre and 23 metres in length, were in an area measuring around 155 square miles (400 square kilometres).
There have been five separate satellite leads - from Australia, China, France, and now Thailand - showing what could be debris.
But it is not currently known if any of the objects are connected to MH370, which disappeared on March 8 on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.
The plane is thought to have crashed with the loss of all 239 people aboard after flying thousands of miles off course.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said crews had seen objects while they were searching on Wednesday, but the items were later lost.
"Three objects were spotted on Wednesday by two aircraft but were not able to be relocated despite several passes," it said.
"They were unrelated to the credible satellite imagery provided to AMSA."
The failure to find and recover any possible debris despite the growing number of satellite images highlights the logistical difficulties of the search area.
It has some of the deepest and roughest waters in the world, battered by the "roaring forties" winds that sweep across the sea.
The winds are named for the area between latitude 40 degrees and 50 degrees where there is no land mass to slow down gusts which create waves higher than six metres (19ft).
"It's a nasty part of the world simply because there's no land to break up any of this swell and waves - it's uncomfortable to be there any time," marine scientist Dr Rob Beaman told Sky News.
"You really need a strong stomach to work in that area, so I really feel for the people who are out there doing the search."
In the meantime, anger and frustration has continued to mount among distraught relatives of the 150 Chinese passengers at Malaysian efforts to find the plane.
Chinese insurance companies have also started paying compensation to the families of passengers aboard the missing plane, according to the state news agency.