The agency co-ordinating the exhaustive search operation for the MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean still holds out hope of finding people alive as authorities scramble to cover the massive 600,000sq km search area.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said it was preparing for the remote possibility of a human rescue mission, should two large objects spotted by satellites some 1,500miles off the coast of Perth be part of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight.

John Young, the general manager of AMSA's Emergency Response Division, said the focus of the search - which now includes 29 planes, 21 ships and six helicopters from more than 20 countries - was first and foremost on trying to locate the large pieces of debris, one up to 24 metres (78ft) in length.

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