By: Chelsea Cozad
After the 2014 disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, several efforts were attempted to find the airplane and 239 missing persons aboard. Last January, Australian officials indefinitely suspended any further search attempts, although pieces of debris believed to have come from the plane washed up on the shores of Madagascar, Réunion Island and Tanzania.
Last Wednesday, things changed when an independent American company, Ocean Infinity, struck a deal with the Malaysian government. The contract entitles the Houston-based company to $20 million if it finds the wreckage or date recorders early in the search or possibly as much as $70 million if it finds the plane’s debris field or two data recorders within 90 days. If they do not find anything within the given time constraints, however, they will receive no compensation for their efforts.
Although there are many supporters of restarting the search, critics acknowledge that the money spent by China, Malaysia, and Australia, which totals about $157 million, would be better spent on other projects. However, many of the victims’ family members beg authorities to continue pursuing all available avenues to find their loved ones.