While Searching for MH370, Ship, Too, Disappears

Seabed Constructor resurfaces after 3 days in Indian Ocean
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2018 8:54 AM CST
The vessel 'Seabed Constructor,' seen here, has been dispatched to the southern Indian Ocean to search for the wreckage of the missing plane, MH370.   (Ocean Infinity via AP)
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(Newser) – Just when you thought the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 couldn't get any more mystifying, it has. While searching for the Boeing 777 that vanished with 239 people on board after departing Kuala Lumpur in March 2014, a ship itself disappeared more than 1,200 miles off Western Australia, reports the Guardian. Ten days into a 90-day search commissioned by Malaysia—which will pay up to $70 million if the ship is found—the Seabed Constructor from US-based company Ocean Infinity apparently turned off its satellite monitoring system Thursday, leaving it untrackable in the Indian Ocean. It reappeared three days later en route to a scheduled refueling stop in Fremantle, Australia, but neither Ocean Infinity or the Malaysian government have offered an explanation for the disappearance, which has sparked wild conspiracy theories.

Some speculated that the crew was actually pulling treasure from a Peruvian shipwreck nearby, per News.com.au. With Malaysian officials saying only that Flight 370 wasn't found during the first week of the search that began Jan. 22, others say the Seabed Constructor might've found an area of interest and turned off its Automatic Identification System to protect passengers' relatives from undue distress at seeing the ship focused on a particular spot. The wide-ranging speculation is perhaps no surprise given this search was "shrouded in mystery" from the outset of the deal signed in January after months of negotiations, reports New York. An interesting tidbit the magazine uncovered: "A so-called anchor-handling vessel designed to support offshore oil drilling" was seen heading for a rendezvous with the Seabed Constructor days before the search began. (Read more MH370 stories.)

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