Chinese, Australian, and Malaysian officials have announced they have officially called off the search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 almost three years after it disappeared on a route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. NBC reported:

“Today the last search vessel has left the underwater search area,” the MH370 Tripartite Joint Communique said in a statement.

“Despite every effort using the best science available, cutting edge technology, as well as modelling and advice from highly skilled professionals who are the best in their field, unfortunately, the search has not been able to locate the aircraft. Accordingly, the underwater search for MH370 has been suspended.”

The statement lauded the commitment of searchers in the face of what called an “unprecedented challenge.”

Officials called the suspension of the search significant “for our three countries, but more importantly for the family and friends of those on board the aircraft.”

“We again take this opportunity to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives and acknowledge the enormous loss felt by their loved ones,” the statement said.

Australia’s Transportation Safety Bureau announced in December that a review of the data used to estimate where the plane crashed, coupled with new information on ocean currents, strongly suggested the plane hit the water in a 9,700-square mile area directly north of the search zone.

However, Australia’s government rejected a recommendation from the bureau that crews be allowed to search the new area to the north, saying the results of the experts’ analysis weren’t precise enough to justify continuing the hunt.