Arguably the most mysterious commercial air disaster ever is what happened to MH370, the Malaysia Airlines 777 that went missing back in 2014. The plane was carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it disappeared just shortly after takeoff.
There are still many theories as to what happened, ranging from a catastrophic technical failure, to a horrible murder plot from the captain. While small parts of the plane have been found, a vast majority of the plane hasn’t been, which is shocking given how advanced technology is nowadays.
After an investigation spanning many years, covering 120,000 square kilometers, and costing hundreds of millions of dollars, the search for MH370 was finally called off in early 2017.
Then earlier this year the search was resumed in a surprising way. US seabed exploration firm Ocean Infinity was given the task of finding MH370 wreckage within 90 days, entirely on a “no-cure, no-fee” basis. That meant that if they found nothing they’d get nothing, while if they found the plane (or parts of it, at this point) they’d get paid up to $70 million.
They must have been pretty confident that they’d find wreckage, or else they wouldn’t undertake something like this, as I can’t imagine how much it cost. As promising as it sounded, there’s bad news on that front — Ocean Infinity has confirmed today that they’ve called off their search for MH370.
In their three months working on this project, Ocean Infinity searched 112,000 square kilometers of ocean floor and terrain. Here’s what Ocean Infinity’s CEO had to say:
“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.”
It’s a sad day for the families of those who were on MH370. While I understand a lot has been done, I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that in this day and age a 777 can vanish into thin air…