A survey ship operated by Dutch firm Fugro has arrived to the area identified as the most likely resting place of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 to join the renewed search operation.
The Fugro Discovery research vessel has joined GO Phoenix, contracted by Malaysia, to scan the seabed of the Indian Ocean some 1,800km west of the coast of Australia, where investigators believe the ill-fated Boeing 777 crashed into the waters after diverting thousands of miles away from its scheduled route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The only clues the investigators have are satellite data of telecommunications provider Inmarsat as no debris has been found despite the enormous search efforts.
Malaysia’s defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein expressed confidence the cutting edge technology aboard the ships will locate the wreckage and ultimately provide answers as to what led to the plane’s mysterious disappearance.
"We must continue to hope because sometimes hope is all we have," he said. "We will find MH370."
The search ships are dragging towed sonar scanners behind them connected through a cable allowing the devices to sink close to the seabed, which is at times at depths of more than six kilometres.
Towing the scanners only 100 meters above the seafloor, the ship operators can distinguishing unusual structures which could be the missing Boeing.
The towed devices, also equipped with jet fuel sensors, are transmitting data in real time to the controllers on board the vessels.
The latest phase of the search operation, the most expensive and extensive in the history of aviation, is expected to last for about a year.
Australian officials are still receiving reports from people who believe they have found wreckage washed up along the Australian coastline, but all have been false alarms.
Drift modelling by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority has shown any floating debris would likely have travelled west, away from Australia, prompting the officials to alert Indonesia to look out for any possible fragments that may have been carried to its coast.