MH370 is almost certainly lying just outside the recent search area, according to one of the world’s most respected oceanographers.
Speaking exclusively to AirlineRatings.com, the University of Western Australia’s Professor Charitha Pattiaratchi is emphatic about where he believes MH370 is lying.
“Yes absolutely, just outside where we have been looking,” Prof. Pattiaratchi said.
The most recent search for MH370, conducted by US-based Ocean Infinity, concluded on June 8 and has searched 20 nautical miles either side of what is called the seventh arc but north of the previous search.
That arc is based on satellite interrogation of the Boeing 777, which disappeared on March 8, 2014 with 239 aboard.
The Ocean Infinity search covered the area identified by both the CSIRO and the University of WA as the most likely based on drift modeling of debris but turned up nothing.
Prof. Pattiaratchi would like a new wider search to focus on the latitudes from 28S to 36S to encompass both UWA’s and the CSIRO’s modeling.
Perth, Western Australia, is at latitude 31.9S.
And supporting the prospects of another quick search are statements from Ocean Infinity that it hopes to again offer its services in the search for MH370 sometime in the future and its ship the Seabed Constructor is remaining off the WA coast under contract to Woodside Energy.
The company Wednesday said that its cutting-edge technology would be deployed to conduct a deep water route survey off the North-West coast for Woodside.
The ship and its fleet of eight Hugin autonomous underwater vehicles will provide data in support of Woodside’s Scarborough field development, about 357 kilometers west-north-west of the Burrup Peninsula in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
Ocean Infinity said the contract involved a deep water geophysical pre-engineering route survey extending about 300kms from the Scarborough sub-sea field towards existing onshore liquid natural gas processing facilities on the Burrup Peninsula.
The contract is due to start in the middle of this month and the Seabed Constructor will be operating in water from 950 to 1400 meters deep and deploy multiple AUVs to collect the information.
“This contract represents Ocean Infinity’s ability to support the offshore energy sector,” OI chief executive Oliver Plunkett said in a statement.
“We have worked closely with Woodside in developing a robust solution which meets their demand for high-quality data delivered in a time-critical, innovative and cost-effective way.”