Malaysia Looks Set to Restart MH370 Search – UPDATED

Many thanks to reader @David who provided the link to the following statement issued today, October 19, 2017, by Australia’s Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester:

I acknowledge the announcement that the Malaysian Government is entering into an agreement with Ocean Infinity, to search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The Malaysian Government has accepted an offer from Ocean Infinity to search for the missing plane, entering into a ‘no find no fee’ arrangement.

Malaysia’s decision to proceed with the search shows the commitment to find MH370.

While I am hopeful of a successful search, I’m conscious of not raising hopes for the loved ones of those on board.

Ocean Infinity will focus on searching the seafloor in an area that has previously been identified by experts as the next most likely location to find MH370.
Australia, at Malaysia’s request, will provide technical assistance to the Malaysian Government and Ocean Infinity.

No new information has been discovered to determine the specific location of the aircraft, however data collected during the previous search will be provided.

As always our thoughts are with the families and friends. I hope that this new search will bring answers, both for the next of kin and for the rest of the world.

From the language it seems that Australia is at an arm’s length from this deal. It sounds like, despite having been put in charge of the original seabed search, they are not party to this deal. What’s more, in being “conscious of not raising hopes for the loved ones of those on board” he sounds rather skeptical of the odds of success. I find this a little surprising given the tone of recent Australian pronouncements, such as the statement in the CSIRO’s “The search for MH370 and ocean surface drift – Part II” report that “we are now even more confident that the aircraft is within the new search area identified and recommended in the MH370 First Principles Review.”

Worth noting that Malaysia has not finalized a deal. Several news outlets are reporting that “the Malaysian Government has confirmed it has chosen a company [Ocean Infinity] to begin a new search for MH370 and is now negotiating the terms of the deal.”

So what, you ask, is Ocean Infinity? The Houston-based company seems to have sprung into existence recently; the oldest article I could find about the company was from last October. It owns a fleet of AUVs but leases its support ship from Swire Seabed, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong conglomerate. According to one source,

Swire Seabed already has a six-year contract in place for its new vessel with UK-based mapping company Ocean Infinity, the owner of the AUVs and USVs. The vessel will serve as the host for the multiple AUV operations in a combined venture between Ocean Infinity, with Swire Seabed providing survey processing and project management, and SeaTrepid DeepSea of Louisiana conducting operations of the AUVs.

Looks like somebody’s looking to gamble a lot of money on long odds. But whose money, exactly, is at stake?

UPDATE 10/21/17: I just received an email from Ocean Infinity’s media relations rep, Mark Antelme of Celicourt Communications. He says:

Thanks for getting in touch with the team.  At this stage, all we can really say (as a company spokesperson) is:

“Ocean Infinity are not yet able to confirm the final award of a contract to help in the search for MH370, but good progress has been made.  We remain optimistic that we will be able to try and help provide some answers to those who have been affected by this tragedy.”

There is a fair amount of info on the company here:  https://oceaninfinity.com/

Otherwise, we hope to be able to update people on the contract award over the coming days and we will make sure you receive any communication from us.

I wonder what the sticking points are.

197 thoughts on “Malaysia Looks Set to Restart MH370 Search – UPDATED”

  1. I think OI need to do a better job of not telling us what they can do, but what they have done. We at least knew what we got with Fugro.

  2. Well it looks like after being misled and manipulated from day one with mis information from many foreign countries, Malaysia is for the first time in control. Looks positive to me.

    This is the last area associated with the validity of the Inmarsat data (can we actually say this area is related to Inmarsat data analysis?) and it make sense to start with this. I think they should also search at other credible locations indicated by unverified clues including Vietnam waters where ELT pings were initially detected and for obscure reasons denied, SIO location pointed out by the hydroacoustic study, bay of bengal location pointed out by Georesonance, etc. There are quite a few locations to verify.

    @Mick, I also hope they establish success/failure criteria so they know when to move to the next area.

    @Jeff, barnacles are technically biofouling. Maybe you refer to absence of flora biofouling which should have been expected as well. Looking forward to see the full argument in coming weeks.

  3. The last quote you have there Jeff says Ocean Infinity is a UK based company. Is this just an error in their reporting?

  4. @Jeff Wise
    https://twitter.com/airinvestigate/status/797248271475503104
    -RMP report confirms that #MH370 FO’s cell phone was briefly detected south of
    Penang on 8th March, 2014 at 1:52am (MYT).-

    “Jeff Wise‏ @ManvBrain 11 Nov 2016”
    “Can you say anything about where you got this? Numerous sources have been
    sitting on it for months”

    “Air Investigation‏ @AirInvestigate 11 Nov 2016”
    “They have, and that was their choice, likely because they had partials &
    secondary info.
    Mine, 100%.”

    “Jeff Wise‏ @ManvBrain 11 Nov 2016
    “leaked by someone presumably. So you have the full doc? If so will you be
    sharing it?”

    “Air Investigation‏ @AirInvestigate 11 Nov 2016”
    “not in full at this moment in time for reasons I publicly explained two
    months ago.”
    __________________

    Did you see any further evidence regarding Mick Rooney(=@AirInvestigate)
    claim of 100% RMP Report, and likelihood of any such release by him?

  5. Btw who is Ocean Infinity? first time I hear about them. What is their experience and credential in this search? where are they incorporated?

  6. @Crobbie, Yes, I guess one of these is misreported. I’m not even sure which, at this point!

    @buyerninety, You should ask Mick, he’s on here.

  7. Another snippet from Sub-sea World News on the mysterious outfit, Ocean Infinity and their Swire Offshore chartered ship, Seabed Constructor…

    Seabed Constructor Suspected of Illegal Activities Off Iceland – posted 12-APR-2017

    “…The vessel was afterwards directed to Reykjavik port for further police investigation as it doesn’t have any permits for research in Icelandic waters.

    Seabed Constructor (formerly known as Olympic Athene) was bought last year by Norway-based subsea operations specialist Swire Seabed, a subsidiary of Swire Pacific Offshore, and contracted for six years by UK-based Ocean Infinity for AUV based survey and construction support operations.”

    The plot thickens!

    Have yet to find the outcome of the police investigation or exactly where the infringement occurred.

  8. @Mick Rooney: I offer my kindest regards to a fellow searcher for the truth of MH370’s fate.

    On what date were you first given documents purporting to be a “secret RMP report”, from whom did you receive them, and why did they choose you?

    Thanks in advance for your transparency.

  9. @Mick Rooney
    Any comment in regard to releasing the 100% of the RMP Report you stated
    you had back in November 2016?
    (For instance, that part of the report bearing the signed date May 15, 2014?)
    __________________
    (@Jeff Wise
    Sorry about the formatting fault that gave all bold.)

  10. @HB As I understand it, OI will search the 5,000 sq km area identified in the ATSB’s final search report (35 deg latitude), so there is not likely to be a “move to the next area”.

  11. @buyerninety @Brock

    Just to be clear on the 100% reference. That refers to the validity of the source and channel where the RMP report originated. I have never claimed to have 100% of the report – what I have amounts to multiple folders covering approximately 1200 pages.

    The report was sent to me on the afternoon of 7th November, 2016. There are at least two folders I do not have that I am aware exist. No, Brock, I cannot name the source because the person does not want to be named, but it is someone I have known for more than two years now on a private and professional basis. My source does not work in the media. Why “choose you?” Because this person trusts me. Simple. That is the fundamental core of sharing any sensitive information.

    As with any information shared with me, I had to verify what I had was what it purported to be. I did that over many weeks, seeking legal and technical advice, and reaching out to many people, those who undersigned it, and were named in the report in an official role, and private citizens named.

    Prior to the report’s disclosure, I was aware that a number of media orgs in France and Australia had at least some access to all or parts of the RMP report, and that later included members of the IG. I was appalled by how journalists in the media were selectively using parts of the report to feed and fuel speculative articles to suit agendas and flog news stories.

    I have my own “mea culpa”. I was also privately and publicly giving media orgs a hard time on AirInvestigate for not releasing the report in full, or whatever they had access to. When I had access to the report, I understood WHY. I discussed what I should do with the report with relatives once I had worked through all I had. I decided that the best initial move was to start releasing relevant partials of the report, where personal and private details of people were redacted (social media, bank accounts, medical records, phone numbers, addresses etc).

    Ultimately, during that period, other persons laid their hands on the report and decided to unload (dump, would be my word) it on social media (unredacted) with complete and utter disregard for privacy and families of those lost. I guess they decided it was far too much work to bother with countless hours of careful redaction of personal details that were in no way relevant to the investigation.

    In the end, I decided what was done was done. The report is already out there in the public domain and I released all the documents I had to an aviation group and some via Twitter.

  12. @Mick, I commend your frank and heartfelt explanation. I wish more would follow your example.

    BTW, As I understand it, some parts have still not been released, which itself raises questions. Is it possible to enumerate which parts are still not in the public?

  13. I have not seen a “Cover Letter/Memo” or TOC describing what was in the “complete” set of folders. Folder 3 is missing. I do not know what the title of 3 is. Folder 3 may exist, but was not provided to the original leak recipient [the French?] for unknown reasons.

  14. Bit more digging on this fledgling company. Ocean Infinity turns up some surprises.

    Here’s the London address of the outfit, but beyond that I’ve failed to find any info regarding UK operations, but I’m going to check out the Swire connection as there may be more to this than meets the eye.

    Ocean Infinity UK Headquarters
    6 Grosvenor Street
    W1K 4PZ London
    United Kingdom
    Tel: +44 2038840900

    This is the US address…

    Ocean Infinity
    1400 Broadfield Boulevard
    77084 Houston
    United States
    Tel: +1 9855202365

    A billboard seen at the address on Google Maps showed that office space was available for lease, but no sign of Ocean Infinity on the list. However did find a company called Woods Group, and this has a division called “The Infinity Group”. This could be an interesting lead, so I’ll do a bit more fact finding about both these huge UK conglomerates.

  15. @Jeff Wise

    At least three…

    FOLDER 3: CREW
    FOLDER 7: CARGO INFORMATION
    FOLDER 8: PASSENGER INFORMATION

    The ninth I suspect could be just the appendices, which I have and does not come with the Investigation logo. So it could be just a split electronic file which is part of another file.

    I count ‘maybe’ nine folders here piled up.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYaeUA1Q8ew

  16. @Mick, Don’t think that can be the same company, can it?

    I just called their Houston number and left a message for their press guy (who’s in the UK).

  17. @Mick Rooney:

    No, same business The Wood Group, just my typo and thanks for the link, Mick.

    Wood Group do have both a Subsea and a
    Digital division and Infinity does seem a good fit with their petrochemical support business.

  18. @airlandseaman
    Mike, see the ENVOYÉ SPÉCIAL France 2 by Elise Lucet link I provided above. I’ve also verified from other media sources that these folders also exist.

  19. Hi,
    in ENVOYÉ SPÉCIAL it appears that the folders visible are, for all the pages which are seen with enough details, that they are printed from PDF: Original folders seems to be printed recto-verso (both sides of the pages printed, from space on the right or left of the text and from the place of page number) but the pages seen in ENVOYÉ SPÉCIAL are printed on just one side.
    So, I doubt they have more than the public PDF. And they don’t have the CD/DVD visible on one cover, just the photocopy of it (I phoned to one of the authors of the media)!

    PL

  20. @PaxLambda

    I take your point on the recto-verso, but you can choose on any PDF file how the output is physically printed, double sided (to save paper) or single sheet output. But I think you are missing the point, that there are missing folders, nothing to do with page volume or how they were printed.

    The ENVOYÉ SPÉCIAL files shown in the docu look to me to be “pristine”, perfectly aligned, no grey discolouration, shadow etc., particularly on the folder cover pages. My electronic copies show distinct shadow and discolouration, page offset, demonstrating that they have been clearly scanned from a physical printed copy, at least, or in part from an original electronic file.

    I can’t speak to how Elise Lucet and France 2 obtained their copy, but I am reasonably confident that the documents shown were printed from a core electronic shared file that was the original “pristine” file produced by the Royal Malaysia Police from their archives.

    Even an original file is going to show punch holes, misalignment of sheets because the materials come from work sheets, maintenance data books and software, multiple other reports correlated together using different software etc that have to be scanned to include in a PDF report.

    Regarding the image of a CD/DVD cover visible within one folder file, this may or may not have been shared as a separate file when the RMP transmitted their report to departments and concerned parties. I tend to agree with Victor I., that the CD/DVD probably only contains civil radar data, and not military PSR screen data.

  21. @mick, understand but if not found there then what? It either it is not there or it has been missed. How would we know it is not the latter?
    Regarding next areas. I understand there will be a scope for this search. If not found, this would be a strong indication that the Innarsat data is unreliable and that is time to look at the other unverified clues i would hope.
    It seems all eggs are in the same basket which is the weakness of the search since the beginning.

  22. @HB. Bear in mind that the original search was of around 87% of the ‘probability distribution function’ area, ie the area it could have crashed in according to the DSTG/SSWG interpretation of Inmarsat data.

    Low probability areas were excluded, to limit the size of the search to the practicable.

    So certainly there is high confidence the wreckage is not in the area previously searched but that is not synonymous with the area of the possible crash. There is a chance in 8 that it is in the PDF outside the search area.

    If I am wrong with this I hope to be corrected though have been as when previously I have raised it. I have noted as an example of the ‘Central America’, a long lost shipwreck; found using Bayesian analysis but in a very low probability area.

    I leave out the assumptions on which the PDF was based which of course remain under discussion, particularly on the VI site.

  23. @David, Regarding the 87% figure, worth noting an important feature of Bayesian analysis, it’s a rigorous mathematical method built upon a foundation of pure human guesswork, with more human guesswork added at the end in many cases. For instance, when deciding how far the plane could have flown after the 7th arc, they ran simulations, then added an arbitrary safety margin–which is all quite reasonable, of course, but we just need to be aware that a pdf is not some abstract quantity that exists independently. I think they have been too conservative; I don’t for instance think it’s possible that the plane could have traveled 15 nm while plunging downwards at 0.68g. I have argued at some length in these pages that the SIO search area encompasses something much closer to 100 percent of the pdf, given that there is no endpoint you can get to that is also consistent with drift analysis, autopilot mode, aerial search data, etc.

    @HB, You wrote, “…if not found there then what? Either it is not there or it has been missed. How would be know it is not the latter?” Really excellent point. If the ATSB had not done such an extraordinary job in publishing their search results we really would be nowhere right now, with no confidence that they hadn’t just missed the plane. I’m a little uncomfortable with Australia being out of the loop on a follow-up search. Malaysia has not been great on the transparency front (to put it mildly) and we have no idea who these Ocean Infinity people are. Worst case scenario, they come back to us in six months and say, “Yup, it’s not there,” and we have no idea if they even went and looked.

    @David, I wonder what the sticking points in this negotiation are.

    @Brock, You have immediately exceeded my tolerance for your shenanigans.

  24. @Jeff

    @David, I wonder what the sticking points in this negotiation are.

    My guess is “scaling” the reward or basing the reward on the search time to avoid a windfall by OI. Negotiating a fixed fee for finding the plane is intrinsically risky for both sides. Scaling the reward benefits the Malays in that it is similar to a time and materials search with the huge benefit of no fee at all if the plane is not found. It would benefit OI, and encourage them to continue searching beyond the limits imposed by a fixed fee. Of course, the possibility of an OI windfall would be compromised.

  25. @Jeff Wise. “I think they have been too conservative; I don’t for instance think it’s possible that the plane could have traveled 15 nm while plunging downwards at 0.68g. I have argued at some length in these pages that the SIO search area encompasses something much closer to 100 percent of the pdf”.

    Yes I see. Turning it around. There is a discussion which can be had on that, including the possibility, even if unlikely, that the last leg is manned; but either way that 1 in 8 has been left unattended.

  26. @David, I don’t see any evidence one way or the other that the cockpit was manned at the end; I think there is evidence that the plane, if it went south at all, was in a nose dive at the end. But this could have been accomplished, we’re told, without a pilot.

    But this might be a good time to bring up a point that I found striking back in March of 2014: Even then it was clear that a savvy and motivated hijacker was behind the diversion; even then it was clear that flying for six hours into the SIO was tantamount to suicide. These two things never matched up. Hence no one was able to come up with an SIO scenario that made any sense.

  27. @Jeff Wise,DennisW. “I wonder what the sticking points in this negotiation are.”

    For one, if Malaysian or even as an Australian I would be a wary of the potential for litigation. Apparently they are to search the ATSB/CSIRO recommended area and according to one newspaper account just that.

    If they do not find the wreckage can they sue for misleading information after all the enthusiasm for that area? I would like to see evidence that they have made/believe in, their own independent assessment.

    Then there is the question as to how long they should go on searching for if at first they do not succeed, particularly with NOK in mind. A quick dirty look would get them a good work up and demo of their system at no added cost yet plenty of publicity.

    Then again they might be entirely reputable and philanthropic in spirit, intent on doing the right thing.

  28. @Jeff

    it was clear that flying for six hours into the SIO was tantamount to suicide. These two things never matched up. Hence no one was able to come up with an SIO scenario that made any sense.

    Do you believe that the 911 events did not happen as reported, but were the result of a CIA plot to destroy the buildings to garner public support for the Iraq war?

    Suicide in the context of a cause is extremely common.

  29. @Jeff / @David:
    “…wonder what the sticking points in this negotiation are.”

    I’m starting to get the impression that Ocean Infinity are just a shell company setup by a much bigger company, with possible state connections. I think publicity is the main reason for doing this and to test out the new AUV/ASV search array in the real-world environment.

    If the system works efficiently then the parent company can “buy them out” whether or not they succeed in finding MH370 or fail. However, if Ocean Infinity have to sign a non-disclosure agreement with the Malaysian government then I think this would almost certainly sour the deal.

  30. @Mick Rooney
    Thankyou for your answer.
    The RMP report states, in Folder 1, Appendix A-10, page 1 of 4, “Data given by
    FBI” and lists data relating to Shahs Facebook activity.
    I have not noticed anything in the known Folders that shows any ‘data’ was given
    TO the FBI and there would appear to be no factual basis for anyone to make a
    claim that the RMP provided the FBI with the simulator data. In fact, the then
    RMP Inspector-General of Police, Khalid Abu Bakar, in a Press Conference at the
    Putrajaya Mariott hotel on 28th July 2016 was reported in the Straits Times as
    declaring Malaysian police had not provided any information to the United States
    Federal Bureau of Investigation.
    Any reference to ‘FBI data’ can only thereby be taken to apply in regard to
    data given TO Malaysia, such as, e.g. Facebook activity.
    Victor Iannello has referenced, in his 12th October 2017 topic post, the U.K.
    Telegraphs report that claimed “Shah’s flight simulator was transferred to the
    headquarters of the FBI in Quantico, Virginia”, and therefore his statement
    that “FBI investigators at Quantico, Virginia, were assisting in recovering the
    data”, is liable to mislead readers that the Telegraphs claim is factually
    based, when in fact the evidence does not support that claim.
    Readers will remember this matter of ‘FBI involvement with the simulator data’
    was a point of dispute some time ago between Jeff and Victor as to whether
    Victor had misrepresented that matter to Jeff – therefore, Victor needs to be
    careful that he is not indifferent as to whether the way in which he expresses
    any matter may tend to mislead, or as to whether any matter he gives his
    interpretation of, is incorrectly expressed as a fact.

  31. @Jeff/Whomever Re:

    Jeff Wise
    Posted October 19, 2017 at 3:00 PM
    @DennisW, and anyone else who feels deeply skeptical about this rumored plan: If you feel, as I do, that there’s less than a 50 percent chance of such a seabed search finding the plane, then what do you say we pool some money together and place a public wager? …

    I would place a reasonable wager once a contract is signed and the search area is made public. I would not be betting for/against OI’s ability to find the plane, I would be betting for against/the area chosen. (Although that is incidental to the bet). I have my own idea of where the plane could be but I have pretty much no evidence to support it – so I keep it to myself.

  32. @Mick Rooney
    About the RMP report in ENVOYÉ SPÉCIAL, I just looked at it again, and you are right all along the line. At different times, reports 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 are visible with their titles. May be they (or some) are “original”. And what is sure: they had more than in “public” domain.

    Sorry for an incorrect intervention.
    PL

  33. @DennisW, Boris Tabaksplatt. Impediments to OI contract. A couple of other thoughts:

    Say the aircraft broke up in mid air (stresses in a tight spiral). OI finds a wing with some bits hanging off. Is that enough to claim?

    Likewise, what of it finding some parts then refusing to disclose what or where (the ship’s satellite position does not disclose when. so with this and multiple AUVs, exactly where.

    Then, if the search is unsuccessful, who owns the data from it? Aside from its value for any following searches by others, one suggestion has been made that that could be of other value, though that might be a long shot.Last para of:

    http://gearsofbiz.com/mh-370-search-to-resume-as-malaysia-makes-deal-with-us-oceanographic-company/140147

    @HB. PDF. For ‘Probability Distribution Function’ I should have written ‘Probability Density Function’.

    @Jeff Wise. I see in the Executive Summary of the recent ATSB Operational Search report it states, “The underwater search has eliminated most of the high probability areas…” thereby acknowledging that there are low probability areas unsearched. The 1 in 8 issue therefore will not have been entirely forsaken by it and the SSWG in settling on the new search area.

    “I don’t see any evidence one way or the other that the cockpit was manned at the end; I think there is evidence that the plane, if it went south at all, was in a nose dive at the end.” Yes, though the nose dive might have been for a loss of control at high altitude, such as after a final zoom climb and/or diminished control authority after fuel exhaustion. Unlikely but possible there was a recovery and glide of some distance achievable still.

    That these distant possibilities should be recognised in search probability assessments is my point, which gets back right now to OI’s campaign and their risks vs rewards estimation.

  34. Jeff Wise said:

    “I wonder what the sticking points are.”

    Given the track record of the MYG, it wouldn’t be surprising if the sticking points contained items like:

    1. You can only search where we say.

    2. If we tell you to stop searching there and move to another place then you move there instantly, no questions.

    3. If we tell you to stop searching completely, then you stop, no questions.

    4. Everyone in your company (even the tea lady) must sign an NDA and also the Malaysian Official Secrets Act.

    5. You tell only us what you find or don’t find, no one else.

    6. Whatever we announce, you agree with.

    (Tongue-ever-so-slightly-in-cheek…)

    ===============

    “… “conscious of not raising hopes for the loved ones of those on board”

    Perhaps this is going to morph into stage 2 of the official ‘reasons’ to justify discontinuing searching?

    ===============

  35. Seabed Constructor:

    The Icelandic Coastguard run-in with Seabed Constructor was seemingly related to a WWII ‘treasure’ ship – I like the part about ‘valuable minerals’ 🙂 :

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/nazi-chest-gold-atlantic-ocean-british-treasure-hunters-125-million-iceland-a7859241.html

    http://icelandmag.visir.is/article/mysterious-research-vessel-will-not-be-allowed-continue-its-secret-research-sw-iceland

    How can a company with no apparent industry history, a Cayman Islands registration, and only 4 employees persuade a very big company like Swire Seabed to buy a ship of that size especially for them, then afford (and commit) to lease it for 6 years, buy several very costly AUV’s and surface vessels and give a $3m contract to Kraken? Then go off on a speculative (without Icelandic permission) hunt for treasure off Iceland? Strange behaviour.

    You would expect several contracts for years ahead to be already in place with large oil companies for undersea surveying before they took that liability on. But apparently they’re spending this year just testing their new technology?

    http://www.nasdaq.com/press-release/ocean-infinity-awards-kraken-3m-contract-20170907-00284

    There’s another company that uses multiple USV’s/UAV’s – SeaTrepid – and Swire Seabed works with both:

    http://www.swireseabed.com/media1/press-release/swire-seabed-looks-ahead

    SeaTrepid will supply the crew that will work the surface vehicles for Ocean Infinity:

    http://seatrepid.com/media/press-releases/

    “Unmanned Surface Vehicles Sea Trials

    Posted July 19, 2017

    “O-Infinity has received the first six of their unmanned surface vehicles, SEAWORKER. The link to the video below shows the sea trials for SEAWORKER being conducted. The crew that will operate and maintain the USV’s will be supplied by SeaTrepid. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIZjirp1Yrw

    http://www.oedigital.com/subsea/item/14338-herding-auvs

    So it seems there will be 3 companies involved in the search rather than one, with OI simply providing the USV’s and UAV’s, but not the ship or the crew. So what do OI actually do apart from provide the USV’s/UAV’s?

    It also seems odd that SeaTrepid are providing crew to operate what seems to be a competitors business when it has identical (USV/UAV) equipment of its own.

  36. @PS9 Some great links there that tell us a little more. Just my reading and look at OI in recent days, and I have been aware of their tests off the coast of England in recent months.

    It looks to me like OI are a ‘front end’ company specialising in the management and logistics of exploration projects. Their goal is to work with other companies to secure business contracts and execute them for their client. But I do think there is a twofold aspect – not just to secure new contracts at the front end, but to secure long term investment in OI itself and build OI.

    Regarding SeaTrepid providing crew to operate (USV/UAV) equipment… it may be less oddity, but more practicality. SeaTrepid have the more experienced and skilled crews, and OI’s crews are still on a learning curve having only just this year acquired this equipment. I don’t think of it any differently than leasing of aircraft in the aviation industry – some will just want the aircraft itself, others will want it crewed and maintenance included.

    But I kind of agree where you are going – that by the MYG contracting OI, they are in many ways indirectly hiring Swire Seabed.

    Let’s not forget, during the 2014-17 search using Fugro, Chinese vessels were used, and Phoenix Int were also involved. So it also wasn’t all just Fugro.

  37. @PaxLambda

    There is no need for “Sorry for an incorrect intervention”. You rightly made me go back and check the France 2 docu just to be sure. I also need to be reminded to go back and recheck/revisit things to be sure of anything I first concluded, but may have missed something else. 🙂

  38. @HB “understand but if not found there then what? It either it is not there or it has been missed. How would we know it is not the latter?”

    Well, we can’t, unless we have another search of the 120,000 sq km area again. We can argue percentages of accuracy until the cows come home, but no one (person or org) can argue 100% certainty. I’m tired of hearing certainty in relation to the case of MH370. It’s almost like the new 2018 dictionaries need a sub entry for the word ‘certainty’ (unless you are talking about MH370 which may not mean the exact same meaning of certainty!)

    If the OI search is also a bust at 35 degs? Where next? You could search further south beyond 40 degs where satellite images picked up clusters of possible debris in March 2014. To warrant that you would have to completely shelve the Malacca Strait Mystery tour and the purported military radar. Beyond that.. step away and hand the investigation over to an independent international body that goes back to the drawing board and forensically reviews all data with complete and full disclosure. Those decisions, after a final report from MY, would lie with ICAO and IATA to try and resolve. If it happened… it would be unprecedented… there’s another word we’ve heard in relation to MH370 over 3 years and 7 months. Maybe another sub-entry for dictionaries!

  39. @Mick Rooney:

    Yes, looking at it from the other direction it would appear that Swire Seabed is contracting with both OI and SeaTrepid such that Swire provides the ship and ship’s crew and OI/SeaTrepid provide the USV/UAV’s and the crew to operate them. Any of the three could provide the business leads, so they cooperate as one unit as necessary. Although why Swire doesn’t also do the scanning part itself is puzzling, it surely has the resources financially to buy the equipment and assemble the operating crew.

    Another aspect is that Swire has the ROV equipment for seabed exploration/retrieval down to 6000m whereas OI only has the scan equipment.

    SeaTrepid looks like it has some lightweight ROV equipment, but perhaps more for oil rig work and not to that depth. But yes, it would seem that Swire is the major (biggest) company involved – if you employ OI (or SeaTrepid) for this type of multi-scanning you employ Swire Seabed also.

    It would be a feather in the cap for Swire’s/OI’s/SeaTrepid’s aspiring new multi-scan venture if they found it (and a testing ground for the new equipment) perhaps that is a reason for the ‘no fix-no fee’ offer. That and not having any other clients at the moment, perhaps.

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