28 Apr 2014

Air Force helps rescue boatie near Perth

10:41 am on 28 April 2014

The Air Force has helped rescue a boatie off the coast of Perth, while taking part in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

Flight Lieutenant Dave Smith says they were returning from searching for Flight MH370 on Saturday when they were alerted to a distress beacon.

They tracked the signal to the sinking yacht, Elkan. The boatie, who was alone, was then winched to safety by a rescue helicopter from Perth.

As the hunt for the missing jet and the 239 people aboard enters its eighth week, chief of the Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Mike Yardley, says the New Zealanders taking part remain positive.

Meanwhile, the search area for Flight MH370 has been expanded after an underwater drone found no trace of the jet.

The search, nearly 1600 kilometres northwest of Perth, has centred on an acoustic ping detected on 8 April.