The latest effort to find the crash site of Malaysian Airlines MH370 continues, after a three-day “blackout” from the survey ship conducting the search set the Internet on fire with theories about what might be going on. Ocean Infinity Ltd. is conducting the search on a contingency basis, with a payday of up to $70 million from the Malaysian government if they find the wreck, but nothing will be paid if they come up empty. This arrangement has raised speculation about the “real” mission or motivation of the search, with a range of theories offered online. The Ocean Infinity website offers no response to the uproar, but does note, in a report dated Feb. 6: “Please be assured that work is continuing and is aimed at finding MH370.” Trackers are able to follow the ship’s movements via a satellite-based Automatic Identification System, and post updates online.
The Feb. 6 report also notes that on Feb. 4, the ship conducting the search operations, Seabed Constructor, left the search area to transit to the Australian port of Fremantle for supplies and a crew change. The vessel is expected to return to the search area on Feb. 12. The ship deploys eight autonomous underwater vehicles to conduct the search, which so far have covered nearly 3,000 square miles. Two points of interest were identified by the AUV missions, but on further investigation they were classified as geological features, according to the report. Under its arrangement with Malaysia, the ship operators have 90 days to find the wreckage.