U.S. Subsea Firm to Commence Search for Missing Stellar Daisy in Remote South Atlantic

ocean infinity seabed constructor
Ocean Infinity’s vessel Seabed Constructor serves as host for six AUVs to conduct its seabed survey. Photo: Swire Seabed/Ocean Infinity

The vessel used in the private search for the missing MH370 aircraft and Argentina’s missing sub, ARA San Juan, will now hunt for the Stellar Daisy, one of the world’s largest bulk ships, in the southern Atlantic Ocean.

US-based subsea exploration firm Ocean Infinity says its vessel Seabed Constructor has set sail from Cape Town to begin its search for the lost ore carrier Stellar Daisy in the South Atlantic.

The South Korean very large ore carrier Stellar Daisy sank in March 2017 with the loss of 22 of its 24 crew. The ship, which was transporting iron ore from Brazil to China when it sank, is believed to have gone down in the South Atlantic Ocean approximately 1800 nautical miles due west of Cape Town.

Nearly two years later, the location of the vessel and cause of its sinking remain a mystery.

Ocean Infinity was awarded the search contract by the Government of South Korea in December. 

The company says its team is expected to arrive in the search area and commence operations by mid-February. Once on site, crews on board the Seabed Constructer deploy a fleet of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) simultaneously to search for Stellar Daisy. 

“Upon locating the ship a survey of the wreck will be carried out, before an attempt to recover the voyage data recorder is made,” the company said in a statement.

Ocean Infinity’s AUVs are capable of operating in water depths from 5 meters to 6,000 meters. The vessels, which are not tethered to the surface, are equipped with side scan sonar, a multi-beam echo-sounder, a sub-bottom profiler, an HD camera, a conductivity / temperature / depth sensor, a self-compensating magnetometer, a synthetic aperture sonar and a
turbidity sensor.

“The team and equipment are set to execute the Stellar Daisy search plan and we are pleased that our ship begins her journey today to the search area, in one of the most remote areas of the South Atlantic,” said Oliver Plunkett, Ocean Infinity’s CEO. “We are working closely with the Government of South Korea, and in turn with the families of the lost crew.  We are pleased to confirm that as with our previous projects both the Government and the families are represented on board, and we will be providing regular updates on our progress back to Seoul.”

Ocean Infinity’s Seabed Constructor was famously used in the private search for the missing MH370 aircraft in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia in 2018. The search was ultimately unsuccessful.

In November 2018, Seabed Constructor successfully located Argentina’s missing submarine, ARA San Juan, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Patagonia.

“For the sake of all involved we sincerely hope that we can find Stellar Daisy and be able to collect as much evidence about her loss as we can,” said Plunkett in December. “As always with deep sea search there can be no guarantee of success as neither the precise location nor the specific circumstances of her loss are known.”

Ocean Infinity said additional announcements will be made in due course.

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