An American oceanographic exploration firm, Ocean Infinity, has offered to launch a radically faster seabed search for the sunk wreckage of missing flight MH370 for an undisclosed fee paid only if it succeeds in finding the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that vanished with 239 people on board on March 8, 2014.
The offer, publicised by independent MH370 researcher Victor Iannello puts authorities in Malaysia, Australia and China on the spot in terms of support, given the controversial suspension of the official tripartite search in January contrary to a recommendation by Australian scientists to make a final examination of a comparatively small section of the southern Indian Ocean seabed to the southwest of Perth, Western Australia.
The Australian transport safety investigator, the ATSB, managed the now suspended oceanic search on behalf of its Malaysia and China partners in the quest to find the wreckage, and locate and recover, if possible, the flight data and cockpit voice recorders.
There is nothing to prevent any entity from searching for the main wreckage from MH370, although there are long standing internationally agreed rules that seek to avoid disturbing any aircraft wreckage pending a examination by an accident inquiry that conforms to the protocols of the International Civil Aviation Organisation which was founded in 1947.
MH370 was over the Gulf of Thailand early on March 8, 2014, on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, when it abruptly ceased to be visible to air traffic control systems as a transponder identified flight.
Automatically generated signals from MH370 picked up by an Inmarsat communications satellite indicated that the jet eventually flew into southern Indian Ocean airspace before running out of fuel.