Australian authorities aiding MH370 search to examine photos of material washed ashore

HMAS Perth transiting through the Southern Indian Ocean as an Orion P-3K of the Royal New Zealand Air Force searches for debris for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 in the southern Indian Ocean, on April 13, 2014. Australian Transport Safety B
HMAS Perth transiting through the Southern Indian Ocean as an Orion P-3K of the Royal New Zealand Air Force searches for debris for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 in the southern Indian Ocean, on April 13, 2014. Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is examining photographs of material that has reportedly washed ashore near the western shores of the country, a statement by the agency in charge of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 said. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP/AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE

PERTH - Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is examining photographs of material that has reportedly washed ashore near the western shores of the country, a statement by the agency in charge of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 said.

Western Australia police have attended to the report of material washed ashore 10 kilometres east of Augusta and have secured the material, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre statement said.

"The ATSB has also provided the photographs to the Malaysian investigation team. No further information is available at this time. Any further information will be made available if, and when, it becomes available," the statement said.

This is believed to be the first report of possible material from MH370 that has washed ashore since the search started in the Indian Ocean, the Malaysian Insider reported.

Previously, what was thought to be possible debris from the missing aircraft had turned out to be nothing more than wooden pallets, nets and floating garbage.

The huge amount of garbage in the ocean has hampered the search efforts for MH370.

The mini-submarine in the hunt for the flight has completed more than 80 per cent of an area believed to be the best hope of finding wreckage from the aircraft but nothing of interest had been found.

Australia had vowed today to keep searching for missing flight MH370 despite no sign of wreckage after almost seven weeks, and as bad weather again grounded aircraft.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott had admitted that the search strategy may change if seabed scans taken by the mini-submarine failed to turn up a trace of the plane, which vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board.