After friends and family members of two missing Australian crew members started an online fundraiser for resuming search of the missing personnel from the livestock carrier MV Gulf Livestock1, families of 39 Filipino crew members are pleading for a search to continue and expand the search area to uninhabited islands and nearby waters, two weeks after the vessel has capsized off Japan.
MV Gulf Livestock1 was en route from Napier Port, New Zealand to China with 6000 cattle onboard 43 crew members, when the ship was stuck in a Typhoon in the Japanese waters, resulting in the capsizing.
A total number of three people were rescued by the Japanese Coast Guard, where one sailor was spotted unconscious and was later announced to be dead by Japanese Hospital. One of the rescued crew members said that the ship was struggling in the Japanese waters after the typhoon hit.
Chief engineer, Aristotle Sabillena’s wife, Liberty Seneres said, “We are getting frustrated not knowing where they are. We are worried. But there still is hope that they are still alive.”
“We also believe there are some survivors – if not all – either on those rafts or nearby uninhabited islands just waiting for someone to care enough to keep searching. But we must act now,” said Fredelyn Addug-Sanchez, sister of ship captain Dante Addug.
The families pleaded the government to expand the search areas to the waters off South Korea, Taiwan and China.
They urged the manpower agency that supplied the crew members, to send a rescue team to search for the missing people, also asked the UAE based shipowner to start private operation or deploy professional deep-sea divers.
The Japanese Coast Guard said that after a week of a thorough search, the rescue operation has been stopped because they didn’t find other crew members or debris of the ship.
Responding to all the pleas across different countries, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Winston Peters, said that they will be initiating a search and rescue operation to find and retrieve the Voyage Recorder (Black Box) from the sunken ship.