A new effort to find missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 began late Sunday when a ship — one of three — arrived in the search area far off Australia’s west coast to resume the hunt after a four-month hiatus.
Using sonar, video cameras and jet fuel sensors, the GO Phoenix vessel will spend up to a year looking for the jet that disappeared March 8 with 239 people onboard. Crews will lower new equipment deep beneath the waves in the Indian Ocean in an effort to solve one of the world's most perplexing aviation mysteries.
"We're cautiously optimistic," said Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the agency leading the search. "But it's just a very big area that we're looking at."
The search had been in hiatus while crews mapped the seabed in the search zone, some 1,100 miles west of Australia. The 23,000-square mile search area runs along a stretch of ocean —called the "seventh arc" — where investigators believe the plane ran out of fuel and crashed, based largely on an analysis of transmissions between the plane and a satellite.
The two other ships, offered by a Dutch contractor, were expected to join the hunt later in October.
Malaysia and Australia are each contributing around $60 million to fund the search.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report