A cargo ship carrying 43 crew and thousands of cattle feared lost, Japan rescuers find one man alive
A cargo ship carrying 43 crew and nearly 6,000 cattle that is feared to have sunk after it sent a distress signal during stormy weather in the East China Sea.
Rescuers in Japan were searching on Thursday and Japan’s coastguard said one person had so far been found in a search involving four vessels and several planes.
The rescued crew member Filipino Sareno Edvardo told the coast guard that the Gulf Livestock 1, a 139-metre Panamanian-flagged vessel, capsized after losing an engine.
The ship had sent a distress call from the west of Amami Oshima island in southwestern Japan on Wednesday as the region experienced strong winds, heavy seas and torrential rain from Typhoon Maysak as it headed towards the Korean Peninsular.
Japan’s coastguard said P-3C surveillance aircraft spotted Edvarodo, who was the ship’s chief officer, on Wednesday night. He was wearing a life vest and waving in the water.
Edvarodo, who is in good health, said the ship lost an engine before it was hit by a wave and capsized, a coastguard spokeswoman said.
When the ship capsized, the crew were instructed to put on lifejackets. Edvarodo said he jumped into the water and did not see any other crew members before he was rescued.
The crew was made up of 39 people from the Philippines, two from New Zealand and two from Australia, the coastguard said. Pictures provided by the agency showed a person in a lifejacket being hauled from choppy seas in the dark.
The ship left Napier in New Zealand on August 14 with 5,867 battle and 43 crew, heading to the Port of Juntang in Tangshan, China. The journey was expected to take about 17 days, New Zealand’s foreign ministry told Reuters news agency.
New Zealand animal rights organisation, Save Aminals From Exploitation (SAFE) said the tragedy shows the risks of the live animal export trade.
“These cows should never have been at sea,” said the campaigns manager, Marianne Macdonald.
“This is a real crisis, and our thoughts are with the families of the 43 crew who are missing with the ship. But questions remain, including why this trade is allowed to continue.”
Typhoon heading to China
Meanwhile, a woman was killed in the city of Busan when a strong gust of wind shattered her apartment window after Maysak made landfall.
120,000 homes were left without power across southern parts of the peninsula and on Jeju island. More than 2,200 people were evacuated to emergency shelters.
The typhoon has brought heavy rain across the north, but authorities have lifted their typhoon warning as the storm moved towards China.
“The typhoon will pass through Musan and leave our country,” a meteorological officer told Korean Central Television. “I don’t expect any effects.”
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