MH370 search firm finds missing freighter in 72 hours

February 18, 2019
Mh370 Ocean Infinity searchter
A Hugin autonomous underwater vehicle is launched. Photo: Ocean Infinity.

The company many would like to see resume the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has quickly found another missing vessel.

Ocean Infinity announced Sunday that it has found the wreck of the  South Korean ore carrier Stellar Daisy 3461m below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean and about 1800 nautical miles (3334km)due west of Cape Town.

Seabed Constructor, the ship that conducted the second search of the ocean floor for MH370, explored about 1300 square kilometres of seabed over 72 hours using four high-tech autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs)  capable of diving to 6000m.

The company said representatives of the South Korean Government, which contracted it to conduct the search, the families of Stellar Daisy’s crew were on board.

“We are pleased to report that we have located Stellar Daisy, in particular for our client, the South Korean Government, but also for the families of those who lost loved ones in this tragedy,’’ OI chief executive Oliver Plunkett said.

“This operation is further testament to Ocean Infinity’s leading, technology led, search capability.

“Through the deployment of multiple state-of-the-art AUVs, we are covering the seabed with unprecedented speed and accuracy.”

This is the second feather in OI’s cap since it ended the search for MH370 without finding the wreckage of the Boeing 777, which went missing almost five years ago.

The company’s technology allows it to deploy multiple, untethered AUVs equipped with a side scan sonar, a multi-beam echo-sounder, a sub-bottom profiler, an HD camera, synthetic aperture sonar and other sensors.

This allows it to sweep the ocean floor much faster than had previously been the case.

In 2018, OI  located the Argentine navy submarine San Juan, which went missing on November 15, 2017.

The submarine with 44 crew on board was returning from a routine mission to Ushuaia at the southern end of South American when it reported a problem with its batteries.

The Stellar Daisy was lost with 24 people on board on March 31, 2017, while transporting iron ore from Brazil to China.

MH370 family members and others have called on the Malaysian government to mount a further search for the missing plane, which was lost on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board.

READ: Engineer who called MH370 captain was his cousin.

The calls are intensifying as the fifth anniversary of the tragedy approaches but Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke has said the government would need a “credible lead” to re-open the investigation.

Experts are divided where the plane might be after the search failed to find it at what were considered by officials as the most likely location.