The greatest mystery in aviation history will keep its secrets for now with the search for the wreckage of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ending this week without success.
Ocean Infinity, the US-based technology company which began a supplementary search for the Malaysian government at the start of 2018 on a no-find, no-fee basis, failed to find any trace of the plane, which disappeared on March 8, 2014 after leaving Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing with 239 people aboard.
With Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s new Malaysian government believed to be facing a major debt problem, the country’s transport minister called time on the search last week, saving the country $93 million, although the search was due to conclude in June as poor weather set in for winter.
Remarkably, Ocean Infinity’s underwater drones on its vessel Seabed Constructor scanned nearly as much of the ocean floor in just 90 days as the previous three-year $200 million search, coordinated by Australian authorities.
The initial search scanned more than 120,000km² of the ocean floor in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Australia without success, ending in January 2017. Australian researchers then drew up a 25,000km² priority area, which was the starting point for Ocean Infinity. The vessel went on to scan an astonishing 112,000km² of ocean floor, but found no trace of the missing plane.
With the search at an end Ocean Infinity CEO, Oliver Plunkett, issued a statement.
Here’s what he said:
I would firstly like to extend the thoughts of everyone at Ocean Infinity to the families of those who have lost loved ones on MH370. Part of our motivation for renewing the search was to try to provide some answers to those affected. It is therefore with a heavy heart that we end our current search without having achieved that aim.
We are most grateful to the Government of Malaysia for entertaining our offer and affording us the opportunity to recommence the search. The commitment that the new government in Malaysia has made to prioritising finding MH370 was very good to hear.
We want to thank the team onboard Seabed Constructor who have worked tirelessly and all the many companies, organizations and individuals whose support, guidance and advice were invaluable. The staff at the ATSB whose dedication to finding the plane has been unwavering deserve our particular gratitude.
Whilst clearly the outcome so far is extremely disappointing, as a company, we are truly proud of what we have achieved both in terms of the quality of data we’ve produced and the speed with which we covered such a vast area. There simply has not been a subsea search on this scale carried out as efficiently or as effectively ever before.
We sincerely hope that we will be able to again offer our services in the search for MH370 in future.
The fate of the plane and 239 people from 14 countries, including six Australians, remains unknown.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.