Not only has Malaysia suddenly thrown itself into a new search for missing flight MH370, but highlighted a peculiar reluctance by the Australian government to endorse CSIRO and ATSB research that suggests success is close at hand.
As announced in Kuala Lumpur, US firm Ocean Infinity has been chosen to make a ‘no find, no fee’ examination of promising areas of the seabed in the southern Indian Ocean for the sunk wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER that disappeared with 239 people on board on March 8, 2014 on its way to Beijing.
While there is no guarantee of success, and the finer details of the Ocean Infinity agreement are under continued negotiation, the new search brings hope to the next of kin that answers to the causes of this mysterious tragedy might be found the cockpit sound recorder and flight data recorder, should they be recovered.
It was always implicit in the statements made by the CSIRO and the ATSB which managed the earlier searches for Malaysia and China, that a final review of the clues provided by recovered fragments of MH370 wings, and cabin fittings, would identify promising areas for a final close up examination of the sea floor.
However late last year the Minister for Infrastructure, Darren Chester, said any resumption of the search required precise identification of the final resting place of the wreckage. When Mr Chester acknowledged Malaysia’s decision to accept the Ocean Infinity offer at a media door stop this morning, and said it was important not to raise false hopes for the next of kin.