An Australian veterinarian was named as among those on board the ship that went missing after a monstrous tornado struck waters in southwestern Japan.
The Japanese Coast Guard believes the ship may have sunk, and has launched a large-scale search for Gulf Livestock 1, which was carrying 5,800 head of cattle.
The cargo ship disappeared after sending a distress signal during Typhoon Misak while in the East China Sea. The export ship was live in waters west of Amami Oshima Island in southwestern Japan, according to a report by Japan Public Broadcasting Corporation (NHK).
The ship was on its way to China after leaving Napier in New Zealand last month and was due to arrive in China today when it hit severe weather and allegedly capsized after a strange wave.
The Japan Coast Guard spent the day conducting a major air and sea search for the ship or any crew members, but so far to no avail.
Late last night, authorities managed to rescue a crew member who shared horrific details of the moment the ship capsized.
Local media reported that Queensland vet Lucas Orda, who is married with a six-month-old son, is one of the two Australians who were on the lost cargo ship.
Mr. Orda studied at James Cook University and worked at the Gold Coast Equine Clinic before joining a livestock export ship as a veterinary officer in June.
The vet’s last heartbreaking Facebook post was on June 24, revealing his happiness with the upcoming trip.
“It starts with the first 20 days of my journey…” Mr. Orda wrote.
It was accompanied by a map showing that he was traveling to Yantai, China from Portland Port in Victoria.
The New Zealand Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the cattle carrier, which left New Zealand for China on August 14, is expected to arrive in the Chinese port city of Tangshan in about 17 days.
The Australian Livestock Exporters Council (ALEC) says it understands that the other Australian on board is the stock handler.
CEO Mark Harvey Sutton said ABC The radio is waiting “anxiously” for the news.
“It is a very interconnected community, the live stock industry here (Australia) and New Zealand, so everyone is very concerned about the situation and we’re only hoping for the best,” he said.
He told Seven News on Thursday that what we are seeing is “a tragedy unfolding” and as they cling to hope, “with the passage of time this hope diminishes.”
Mr. Harvey-Sutton said it was common for Australians involved in the live stock industry to supply their trade globally.
“It’s a valuable skillet and Australians are very good in it, so it is not uncommon for Australians to be on livestock ships around the world at any time.”
He said that their job is to take care of the animals from a veterinary perspective and from a general stock-handling perspective.
A crew member rescued
One crew member has since been rescued by the Japanese Coast Guard, but the condition of the rest of those on board remains unknown, according to a report by RNZ.
The rescued man, Sarino Edvardo, 45, has been hospitalized on the Japanese island of Amami Oshima. New York times Reports.
The rescue photos released by the Coast Guard show Mr Eduardo swaying in the dark waters.
He told rescuers that the ship suffered an engine failure during the hurricane before capsizing after a strange wave hit it.
“When he was capsizing, an advertisement on the plane asked us to wear a life jacket,” said Edvardo, according to the Coast Guard. “So I put on a life jacket and jumped into the sea.”
The Japan Coast Guard sent aircraft and rescue boats to search for the ship when they found the only survivor late Wednesday.
He was rushed to a large ship, where coast guard personnel wrapped him in surgical masks and gloves with blankets, AFP reported.
“Water,” the man said. “Thank you thank you very much.” “Am I the only one? No one else?” Asked.
Coast Guard spokesman Yuichiro Higashi said Thursday that patrol ships are continuing to search for other crew members.
A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) told news.com.au that they had been in contact with the families of the Australian crew members on board.
“The Australian government provides consular assistance to the families of two Australian crew members on board a cargo ship that has been reported missing in Japanese waters,” the Australian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Due to our privacy obligations, we are unable to provide further comments.
Mr Urda’s friends have since moved to his Facebook page, leaving messages of support for his family, and sending prayers that he is safe.
A friend wrote, “If only we could turn back time and stop you from getting on this boat.”
“Prayers find safe for Lucas. Another person wrote,” The Gold Coast is all praying for you tonight.
Also on board the missing ship were two New Zealanders, as well as a crew of 39 people from the Philippines and one person from Singapore. New Zealand Herald, And about 5,800 head of cattle.
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Millions of cattle and sheep are transported by sea every year, which is a huge profitable trade for meat producers in countries such as Australia and New Zealand. New York times Reports, adding that animal rights advocates say such trips are often very long, regulations are not well and rules are often violated.
Gulf Livestock 1 was built in 2002 with its main port in Panama. Reuters reported that the registered owner of the 456-foot vessel is Rahmeh Compania Naviera SA, a company based in Amman, Jordan.
This is not the first time the ship has encountered problems.
In May 2019, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority identified stability and navigation issues in Gulf Livestock 1, delaying its departure on a flight from Broome to Indonesia.
However, according to an independent report on the Ministry of Agriculture’s website, the ship safely completed the voyage.
“The observer noted that this was a successful flight as the stock and crew crew were professional and attentive throughout the trip. It was noted that the welfare of the livestock is of paramount importance to all stock, crew and officers,” the report concluded, adding that it was in compliance with ASEL requirements.
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