Social media pressure is increasing to get more countries involved in the search operation for the missing 40 crew from the Gulf Livestock 1, which sank in the East China Sea off southern Japan on September 2nd after encountering Typhoon Maysak.
The Japan Coast Guard is still searching, using boats and aircraft. Three men from the 43 crew have been found so far, one of whom later died. However, families of the missing crew have noted that three liferafts and one lifeboat remain missing, and that the area is dotted with a number of uninhabited small islands.
More than 100,000 people have signed petitions urging Australasian governments to join a renewed search. A map has been created by geographers and scientists suggesting where the life rafts might now be.
Vessels transiting the busy shipping area have been asked to be on the lookout for the missing liferafts.
A “Save The Forty” campaign on Facebook has been created by the International Rescue Instructors Association (IRIA); an urgent letter has been sent to the United Nations seeking a swift international charter to be declared in order to access post-event high resolution satellite imagery to conduct the world’s largest volunteer search and rescue mission.
“We need the help of thousands of digital public searchers to review the imagery for signs of the missing shipmates and their international orange lifeboats they set to sea in,” the letter to the UN stated.
There has been significant cloud cover in the area in recent days.
New Zealand’s minister of foreign affairs, Winston Peters, backed calls to mount an operation to retrieve the voyage data recorder on the Gulf Livestock 1. We know how much it would mean to the families of those on the ship to understand more about what happened to cause this tragic loss of life,” Peters told local media over the weekend. The Gulf Livestock 1 sank on September 2nd when it travelled into the middle of a typhoon while en route from New Zealand to China. The vessel lost power, took on water, capsized and sank