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New search begins in bid to find missing MH370

January 11, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Seabed Constructor, a search, support and construction vessel operated by US-based company Ocean Infinity, was in the Indian Ocean yesterday preparing to comb parts of the sea for remains of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 – almost four years after the plane disappeared.

MH370 vanished with 239 people aboard during a March 2014 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in the most enduring aviation mystery of all time.

Ocean Infinity stands to make USD 70 million if it finds the lost aircraft, according to reports from the UK. But Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai says the search is on a “no cure, no fee” basis, meaning that Ocean Infinity will profit from the mission only if it finds the plane.

It’s a year since a massive international hunt for the missing B777-200, coordinated by Australia and involving China and Malaysia, was suspended – leaving the greatest mystery in aviation history unsolved.

The Malaysia Airlines B777 that vanished three years ago while operating flight MH370. Photographed in 2011

After unsuccessfully scouring 120,000 square kilometres of the ocean floor in the widest ranging search ever conducted, authorities admitted they could not locate the aircraft in the Indian Ocean.

Confirmed parts of the plane have washed ashore off the coast of Africa, borne there by currents.

As recently as last October, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said that it was “almost inconceivable and certainly societally unacceptable… for the world not to know with certainty what became of the aircraft and those on board.”

Seabed Constructor

Ocean Infinity faces a deadline, one imposed by the sea itself. Ocean conditions mean Seabed Constructor has until early April to cover a huge amount of territory and find the missing plane.

Seabed Constructor (formerly named Olympic Athene) was bought in 2016 by Norway-based subsea operations specialist Swire Seabed, a subsidiary of Swire Pacific Offshore, and contracted for six years Ocean Infinity, according to Subsea World News.

Swire Pacific, just incidentally, is the biggest shareholder in Cathay Pacific.

Written by Peter Needham

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