AP source: US Navy ship quitting search for plane

U.S. sailors inspect the flight deck of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Kidd during search and rescue operations for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 in the Indian Ocean, March 16, 2014. U.S. Navy photo
U.S. sailors inspect the flight deck of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Kidd during search and rescue operations for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 in the Indian Ocean, March 16, 2014. U.S. Navy photo

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. defense official says the Navy ship that has been helping search for the missing Malaysian airliner is dropping out of the hunt.

The official, who spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been officially announced, said it was determined that long-range naval aircraft are a more efficient means of looking for the plane or its debris, now that the search area has broadened. Navy P-3 and P-8 surveillance aircraft are still involved in the search.

But the official said the USS Kidd, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer that has been searching in the Indian Ocean, will leave the area and return to its normal duties. It is part of the Navy’s 7th Fleet.

The Malaysian Airlines plane has been missing for more than a week.

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