Firm to receive up to $70m if MH370 found in new hunt

Malaysia Offers US Firm Ocean Infinity $70 Million To Find Missing Plane MH370

A year after the official search for the plane in the southern Indian Ocean was called off by Malaysia, Australia and China, the government of Malaysia on Wednesday said that it would pay U.S. firm Ocean Infinity up to $70 million for finding the wreckage or black boxes of the MH370 flight within 3 months.

"As we speak, the vessel, Seabed Constructor, is on her way to the search area, taking advantage of favorable weather conditions in the South Indian ocean", Liow told a news conference.

Australia, China and Malaysia ended a fruitless A$200-million ($157 million) search of a 120,000 sq.km area in January past year, despite investigators urging the search be extended to a 25,000-square-km area further to the north. The private company, Ocean Infinity, based in Texas, has signed a speculative "no-find, no-fee" contract for 90 days that has the potential to reward the research company up to $70 million on a graduated fee scale based upon search results and the amount of area covered within the allotted time.

According to the reports, Ocean Infinity will command a fee of 20 million dollars, if the debris field (scattered remains of the plane at the bottom of the ocean), cockpit voice recorder or flight recorder are discovered within the first 5,000 sq km.

"As we speak, the vessel, Seabed Constructor, is now on her way to the search area, taking advantage of the favourable weather condition in the South Indian Ocean", said Lai, according to an official statement.

The Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had been flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with a total of 239 people on board when it disappeared in March 2014.

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"They can not take forever or drag it on for another six months or a year". The vessel is outfitted with a fleet of eight autonomous, non-tethered underwater vehicles fitted with high-tech cameras, sonars and sensors.

It has 65 crew, including two government representatives drawn from the Malaysian navy. Plunkett estimated that the underwater drones can cover an area of 1,200 square kms in a day, and complete 25,000 square kilometres target within a month.

"It was a unique problem that required a unique solution. While it may not bring our loved ones back into our midst, we wish for the answers that will let matters rest, and to make civil aviation safer", they said.

Debris from MH370 could provide clues to events on board before the crash.

Investigators believe someone may have deliberately switched off the plane's transponder before diverting it thousands of miles out over the Indian Ocean.

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