Firm’s Lafayette branch may help in search for missing plane

The Lafayette branch of Fugro GeoServices may be tapped to lend its expertise in the search for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, the company announced Tuesday.

The local sea floor mapping company could send employees and equipment to assist the Australian-led search operation.

Fugro’s Equator, an advanced survey ship with deepwater location equipment deployed from Fugro’s corporate headquarters in the Netherlands, is currently involved with the search, according to the company.

The vessel will take three months to complete its mapping of the relatively uncharted section of the ocean floor, some parts of which can be 20,000 feet deep.

The information collected by the vessel will generate a terrain map of the sea floor and will help plan future stages of the search for the plane.

The current search zone in the Indian Ocean, 1,100 miles west of Perth, Australia, has turned up nothing so far.

Officials said they will continue the search south of the current zone in August.

Based in The Netherlands, Fugro has consulting agencies around the world that specialize in helping clients with ocean construction planning, sea floor mapping and data collection.