Ocean Infinity resumes search for missing airline MH370
- A MARINE exploration company will make millions — and solve the mystery — if it can locate the wreckage of MH370 within 90 days.
THE search for MH370 has resumed after a research ship left South Africa, bound for a search area off the coast of Perth. The Malaysian Government has enlisted US seabed exploration company Ocean Infinity, which chartered Norwegian ship Seabed Constructor, due to arrive in Perth on February 7 after it set sail from Port Durban on Tuesday.
The Malaysian Airlines flight disappeared on March 8, 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with 239 people on board, sparking the largest search in aviation history. A previous search for the missing airline, which covered 120,000 square kilometres, ended last January and cost Australian, Malaysian and Chinese taxpayers $200 million.
In October, 2017, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) published its final 440-page report into the search, which spanned 1046 days from the time the Malaysia Airlines plane disappeared on March 8, 2014, until it was suspended in January. “We ... deeply regret that we have not been able to locate the aircraft, nor those 239 souls on board that remain missing,” the report said. “Despite the extraordinary efforts of hundreds of people involved in the search from around the world, the aircraft has not been located.”
The Texas-based marine surveyor company told the Malaysian government that there would be no fee if they couldn’t locate the aircraft. If they find the wreckage within 90 days of beginning the search, however, they’ll receive $90 million. The company plans to use advanced sonar scanning equipment to find MH370.
A top air crash investigator, John Cox, previously said that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s “ghost flight” and “death dive” theories are wrong. He says evidence from recovered wing flaps suggests the pilot was flying the aircraft until the end and ditched it.
Australia has agreed to provide technical assistance to the Malaysian Government and Ocean Infinity but will not be contributing any funds. The ABC reports that Ocean Infinity will be searching the seabed in a 25,000 square kilometre area just north of the original search location. According to The Economist, the US company is expected to cover 1200 square kilometres a day.
Ocean Infinity uses underwater vehicles that are capable of operating at depths of up to 6000m and can collect data at “record-breaking speeds’’, reports Perth Now. “With multiple autonomous vehicle working simultaneously utilising innovative technology, we are able to survey huge swathes of the seabed, quickly and with outstanding accuracy,’’ the company’s website says.
While the company generally uses six such vehicles, sources reportedly told the website AirlineRatings.com that eight vehicles will be used in the search for MH370.
At least 20 remnants of the plane, including a flaperon, have washed up on the shores of Madagascar and Reunion Island off the African coast since it disappeared.