SYDNEY: A Dutch firm will conduct a deep-water search in the Indian Ocean for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 from September, Australia said yesterday, expressing “cautious optimism” that the plane will be found.
Fugro Survey will use its state-of-the-art vessel MV Fugro Equator and the Fugro Discovery to search a 60,000 square-kilometre zone in the southern Indian Ocean.
“The underwater search will aim to locate the aircraft and any evidence, such as debris and flight recorders, to assist the Malaysian investigation team on the disappearance of MH370,” Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said.
“The Malaysian government have also offered equipment which will participate in that search and of course, there’s a Chinese vessel already operating in that area in relation to the survey.”
A huge air and sea surface search has failed to find any sign of MH370, which went missing on March 8 with 239 people on board. Authorities believe the doomed airliner veered mysteriously from its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing route before crashing in the remote Indian Ocean.
The Fugro Equator is currently working with Chinese PLA-Navy ship Zhu Kezhen to map the seabed in the search area, based on the missing plane’s last satellite communication around 1,800 kilometres west of Perth.