maritime disasters

Japan calls off active search for missing sailors

Agence France-Presse, Agence France-Presse
Japan calls off active search for missing sailors

This handout picture taken and provided on September 4, 2020 by Japan's 10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters shows a man waving from a life raft, about 2 km north-northwest of Kodakarajima island of Kagoshima prefecture. - Japanese authorities racing to find dozens of missing sailors from a cargo ship that sank in a typhoon found a second survivor on September 4, as another, much more powerful storm drew near. The Gulf Livestock 1, which was carrying 6,000 cows, issued a distress call early September 2 as Typhoon Maysak passed through the area, setting off a desperate search for the 43 crew on board. (Photo by - / 10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters / AFP) / XGTY / ---EDITORS NOTE--- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / 10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters / AFP

Only 2 Filipino sailors are the known survivors of the tragedy of cargo ship Gulf Livestock 1

The active search for dozens of sailors from a cargo ship that sank in a typhoon last week was called off Wednesday, September 9, Japanese authorities said, with two crewmen – both Filipinos – the only known survivors.

The Gulf Livestock 1, which was carrying 6,000 cows, issued a distress call last week as Typhoon Maysak passed through the area, launching a desperate search for the 43 crew on board.

The Japan Coast Guard had been racing to find the missing crew members as powerful Typhoon Haishen barrelled towards the area.

“We decided to shift our exclusive search for the missing people of the ship to a regular patrol search as of today’s sunset time,” the coast guard said in a statement.

“We didn’t find any clues for them after today’s search with a patrol ship and a plane,” they said.

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The two survivors were found last week, while the body of a crew member was recovered at sea on Friday.

The first survivor from the ship, a 45-year-old Filipino chief officer, told rescuers he had put on a life jacket and jumped into the sea after a warning announcement on board.

He said one of the boat’s engines had stalled and the vessel was overturned by a powerful wave before eventually sinking.

The second survivor, a 30-year-old Filipino, was spotted in a life raft several kilometers from Kodakarajima, a remote island in southwestern Japan.

The man, identified as a deckhand, was reached by a patrol boat and was alone in the raft. He was able to walk unassisted, the coast guard said.

The ship was carrying a crew of 39 Filipinos, two New Zealanders and two Australians, as well as 5,800 cows.

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Precisely when and where the vessel sank remains unclear.

The ship is believed to have been caught up in Typhoon Maysak before Haishen swept towards Japan on Saturday, bringing with it winds of up to 290 kilometers per hour (180 miles per hour).

It moved to South Korea on Monday after slamming southern Japan with record winds and heavy rains.

There has been little sign of other survivors, with the coast guard spotting an empty rubber dinghy and a life jacket during their search.

Dead cows from the boat have also been seen in the waves. – Rappler.com

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