Australian ship returns to MH370 search

An Australian navy vessel is resuming the hunt off the West Australian coast for flight MH370 as authorities assess data they hope will allow them to narrow the search area.

The Joint Agency Coordination Centre, which has been taking the lead in the search for the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared on March 8 with 239 people aboard, has confirmed the Ocean Shied was due to depart Stirling naval base this morning.

The vessel has been re-supplying after finishing a deployment which began on March 31, and which involved specialist search equipment including a towed pinger locator and an autonomous underwater vehicle.

JACC head Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston has repeated an earlier warning, telling the ABC the hunt for the missing plane could take a long time.