Missing MH370: British navy ship joins search

LONDON - A British naval ship has joined the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane after possible debris from the plane was spotted.

The British Ministry of Defence said survey ship HMS Echo was now in the Indian Ocean, after the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said a satellite had detected objects including a 24m-long piece of debris.

HMS Echo is designed to collect ocean data to support submarine and amphibious operations and is equipped with a survey motor boat and a contingent of Royal Marines.

A Norwegian merchant ship was the first vessel to reach the area where the debris was spotted, about 2,500km southwest of Perth.

Hoegh St Petersburg was carrying cars from Madagascar to Melbourne when it received a request for assistance from Australian authorities to look for the debris spotted by satellite four days earlier.

It reached the spot at 4pm Malaysian time but has not spotted the debris yet.