Ocean Infinity, a Texas-based seabed exploration company, has confirmed it is moving a vessel into place to resume the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
The plane disappeared on 8 March 2014 while flying to Beijing from Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport. There were 12 crew members and 227 passengers from 15 countries on board the Boeing 777 aircraft when it fell off radar less than an hour after take off.
The search that followed was the most expensive in aviation history and involved ships and aircraft from nine different nations. The Australian-led effort was officially suspended in January of last year following a search of a 46,000 square mile area.
Ocean Infinity entered into a “no find, no fee” search agreement with the Malaysian government in October. Earlier this week, the firm’s spokesperson told Reuters that it expects to be awarded the final contract for the MH370 search in a matter of days.
“With a relatively narrow weather window, we are moving the vessel, Seabed Constructor, towards the vicinity of the possible search zone. This is designed to save time should the contract award be forthcoming, as hoped,” the spokesperson said.
Seabed Constructor is owned by Norwegian surveying firm Swire Seabed and has been leased to Ocean Infinity. The vessel will deploy eight autonomous underwater vehicles, known as HUGINs, to collect data from the deep ocean.
Reuters shipping data shows that Seabed Constructor left Durban, South Africa on 2 January. It is bound for a search area off the coast of Perth, Australia.