Families of lost crew members urge continuation of search

Families of crew who were on the sunken Gulf Livestock 1 (IMO 9262883) have urged authorities to resume their search and rescue operations.

The vessel sunk in a typhoon off southern Japan on September 2nd. Poor weather since then has restricted to a handful the number of days on which a search took place. Late last week Japanese authorities called off the official search mission, despite 40 of the 43 crew remaining unaccounted for.

“Japanese Coast Guard has decided to transition from full-time search operations for the crew of the missing vessel Gulf Livestock 1 to its usual patrol arrangements as they have found no trace of the ship since September 5th,” the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said.

The crew’s families have said that that four life rafts and one lifeboat remained missing. The area where the ship went down is also near many uninhabited islands.

Guy Lockerbie, the father of one of the missing New Zealand crew, told a Radio New Zealand programme that “in the whole search area after picking up two survivors and another Filipino who has since died, we expect to either find bodies or other debris that would indicate where the other survivors were, and there’s been nothing”.

The Gulf Livestock 1 experienced an issue with an engine while sailing from Napier, New Zealand to Tangshan, China, directly through the course of Typhoon Maysak. The vessel’s crew sent a distress signal before it went missing.

New Zealand’s animal rights group Save Animals from Exploitation (SAFE) has said that Gulf Livestock 1 had a history of engine problems, claiming that during a voyage in July 2019 it had drifted for 25 hours whilst undergoing repairs following an engine failure.

On September 3rd New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries announced a temporary suspension of live exports of cattle.

2002-built, Panama-flagged, 11,947 gt Gulf Livestock 1 is owned by Gulf Navigation Livestock 1 Ltd care of manager Hijazi & Ghosheh Co of Amman, Jordan. ISM manager is Marconsult Schiffahrt GmbH of Hamburg, Germany. It is entered with West of England (Greece Claims team) on behalf of Gulf Navigation Livestock Carrier 1 Ltd, Inc.