Families of MH370 victims call for new search for missing plane using robotic ships

Voice370 said in a statement that new technology will be used in the search for the missing plane (Image: EPA)

Voice370 said in a statement that new technology will be used in the search for the missing plane (Image: EPA)

The families of those who disappeared on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have called for a new search for the plane nine years after the disappearance.

In a statement, Voice370 – a group of relatives of the 239 people on board – called on a seabed exploration company to launch a search for the missing wrecks.

Ocean Infinity will deploy new underwater robots to try and expand their previous search for aircraft parts.

The fate of flight MH370 became one of the world’s biggest aviation mysteries when it disappeared on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

In 2018, Malaysia commissioned Ocean Infinity to search for the plane in the southern Indian Ocean and offered to pay up to $70 million if the plane was found. But his operation fell short.

The company’s search comes after Malaysia, China and Australia ended an unsuccessful two-year underwater hunt worth $135.36 million in January 2017 after finding no trace of the plane.

The group said it hopes to launch a new search later this summer and urged Malaysia to accept its proposals on a no-find, no-fee basis.

An airline pilot brings a floral tribute to the victims of Malaysian Airlines MH17, which was shot down in eastern Ukraine, at a terminal building of Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam, the Netherlands. According to reports, three disaster victim identification (DVI) specialists from New Zealand were en route to the Netherlands to work as part of an international DVI team led by the Dutch authorities in Hilversum, while Malaysia received two other forensic experts with DNA to send samples to the Netherlands relatives of victims who died on flight MH17. EPA/REMKO DE WAAL

Sunday marked the ninth anniversary of the plane’s disappearance (Image: EPA)

Siswanto Lo (R), brother of Sugianto Lo and brother-in-law of his wife Chynthya Tio Vinny, both passengers of Malaysia Airlines MH370, holds pictures with Sugianto-Vinny and their children in Medan, Indonesia March 25, 2014. The missing The jet of Malaysia Airlines crashed in the Indian Ocean, Prime Minister Najib Razak said on March 24, when the airline reportedly told relatives it was lost and no one on board survived. AFP PHOTO / ATARATAR / AFP / Getty Images

Siswanto Lo (R), brother of Sugianto Lo and brother-in-law of his wife Chynthya Tio Vinny, both passengers on Malaysia Airlines MH370, are among those calling for the search (Credits: AFP/Getty Images)

French gendarmes and police inspect a large piece of aircraft wreckage found on the beach at Saint-Andre on France's Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean July 29, 2015. France's BEA flight crash investigation agency said it was examining the debris, in coordination with Malaysian and Australian authorities, to determine if it came from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared last year in one of aviation history's greatest mysteries. Picture taken July 29, 2015. REUTERS/Zinfos974/Prisca Bigot TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - GF20000008469 - 10532455

Fragments of the 2015 plane are believed to have been found on a beach in Saint-Andre on France’s Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean (Image: REUTERS)

The company conducted a three-month search using autonomous underwater vehicles in 2018, but found no leads.

However, Voice370 said the company has “made real progress” over the past year to better understand what happened in 2014.

The company also unveiled state-of-the-art new robotic ships last March, the first of which should be operational early this year, which could revive the hitherto unsuccessful hunt.

Documentary MH370

Families are still looking for answers (Picture: Netflix)

‘[These are] It is 78 meters long and can be operated without humans and entirely remotely,” said Oliver Plunkett, Ocean Infinity’s chief executive, in a speech last March. “They are probably the most modern and advanced ships in the whole world.”

In a statement, Voice370 said: “As long as we remain in the dark about what happened to MH370, we will never be able to prevent a similar tragedy.

“We sincerely hope that 2023 will result in a search that will mark the beginning of the end of the search for Malaysia’s missing MH370.”

Last month Peter Foley, who led the initial search, also called for a renewed search for the wreckage of MH370, telling Guardian Australia that new data and equipment – like the robotic ships – are available.


Conspiracy theories have sprung up after unsuccessful searches (Image: Netflix)

In a message to families read at the memorial service, Transport Secretary Anthony Loke vowed not to close the book on MH370, adding that future searches would be given due consideration if there was “new and credible information” about the aircraft’s potential location.

Debris washed up along the African coast and on islands in the Indian Ocean has been confirmed or believed to be from aircraft MH370.

Malaysian investigators did not previously draw any conclusions about what happened on board the flight, but did not rule out that the plane had deliberately veered off course.

MH370 disappeared about 40 minutes after a six-hour flight, and a US$135million (£112million) hunt coordinated by Malaysia, China and Australia ended in January 2017 after no sign of the plane was found.

While some debris believed to be from the aircraft has washed up along the coasts of Africa and on Indian Ocean islands, the void of information has allowed theories – including conspiracies such as a mass hypoxia event or a premeditated murder – Suicide by the pilot – to multiply.

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https://metro.co.uk/2023/03/06/families-of-mh370-victims-call-for-new-search-for-missing-plane-using-robot-ships-18392466/ Families of MH370 victims call for new search for missing plane using robotic ships

Justin Scacco

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