08:08 GMT +323 May 2018
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    crew member checking a map during a search flight some 200 km over the southern Vietnamese waters off Vietnam's island Phu Quoc on March 11, 2014 as part of continued efforts aimed at finding traces of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370

    Revisiting MH370: American Company Lends Hand in Finding Missing Plane

    © AFP 2018 / Hoang Dinh Nam
    Asia & Pacific
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    With the original underwater search dragging on for years and costing millions, Ocean Infinity, a Texas-based firm that specializes in seabed exploration technology, announced Friday it had submitted an offer to the Malaysian government to renew the search for the missing MH370 flight.

    The company’s offer comes as the family members of the victims continue to plead with the Malaysian government to reinitiate the public search called off earlier this year, or allow private searches to begin.

    Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 disappeared from radars on March 8, 2014. The search for flight, coordinated by Australia, Malaysia and China, was called off in early January after the three-year investigation failed to provide any concrete evidence of what actually happened.

    "The terms of the offer are confidential, but I can … confirm that Ocean Infinity have offered to take on the economic risk of a renewed search," the company told NBC News. "We’re in a constructive dialogue with the relevant authorities and are hopeful that the offer will be accepted."

    According to Voice370, a support group for the family of MH370, the proposal was first submitted nearly four months ago. The group isn’t sure why the Malaysian government is dragging its feet.

    ​"Why hasn’t Malaysia accepted this win-win offer?" the group’s statement read. "It has been more than four months now since Ocean Infinity first made the offer to carry out the search with a fee payable contingent upon success."

    "We believe this offer should be accepted without further delay," the release added. 

    The government has yet to respond to the families’ question as of Friday afternoon. 

    "We are constantly in limbo. [Authorities] do not engage us," Grace Nathan, a lawyer whose mother, Anne Daisy, was on the doomed flight, told AFP. "We are always kept in the dark."

    Last year, a team of experts concluded the flight most likely crashed in a 9,700-square-mile area of ocean southwest of Australia; however, the three nations said the newly-identified area was simply too large to justify resuming the publicly-funded search. Malaysia, Australia and China have already spent roughly a combined $150 million.

    Speaking to NBC News, Darren Chester, Australia’s transport minister, stated that since the aircraft was registered in Malaysia, that country "retains overall authority for any future search [efforts]."

    "Australia stands ready to assist the Malaysian government in any way it can," Chester’s statement noted. 

    In early August, Peter Bellew, CEO for Malaysia Airlines, announced that the downed passenger plane would eventually be found — within the next three or four years — with the help of artificial intelligence.


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