Australia has hired Dutch Firm Fugro to restart the search for the Malaysia Airlines flight 370, which disappeared mysteriously in the southern Indian Ocean several months ago. The firm is not a specialist in searching for wrecks on the ocean floor, but it is capable of handling an extensive operation with rotating crews and multiple vessels, which is essential for the current operation, says the Wall Street Journal.
Deadline of 330 days
Warren Truss, Australian Deputy Prime Minister, stated that Fugro N.V (AMS:FUR), a large global oil and gas servicing firms, has earned a 52 million Australian Dollar contract to start a massive search operation on the sea bed of the Southern Indian Ocean for the Malaysia Airlines that disappeared on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew on board.
Fugro won the contract after a tough competition with a number of other capable companies such as Houston-based oil-and-gas services firm Oceaneering International Inc and an expert wreck salvage companies like Odyssey Marine Explorations Inc. and Blue Water Recoveries. A timeline of 330 days has been set to solve the baffling case. This new search for the Malaysia Airlines plane involves four ships carrying deep water sonar equipment, including two from Fargo.
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Fugro N.V (AMS:FUR) has a massive operation in the Western Australia state capital of Perth with clients such as Japan’s Inpex Corp and Total SA that are building a $34 billion Ichthys gas-export project.
Fugro’s director to lead Malaysia Airlines search
Steve Duffield, Fugro’s regional managing director, will take the reins of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 search operation.
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a firm with the credit of locating Titanic in deep waters off the coast of Newfoundland in 1985, will provide Remus 6000 autonomous underwater vehicles to hunt for any debris field, according to Donald Hussong, a veteran deep-sea sonar expert who helped Fugro to manage its bid.
The delicate devices are capable of taking accurate sonar and video images of the sea bottom, but have a very slow speed, which can be a hurdle in the broader search. These devices were key in finding Air France 447 in the mid-Atlantic in 2011, two years after it crashed.
The search operation to date has not been able to locate any definite signs of the missing flight.