The family members of the missing mariners from the Gulf Livestock 1 had funded a private search team, but it has been called off.
The Gulf Livestock 1 capsized in the seas of southern Japan on September 2 amid a typhoon after facing engine difficulties. This enormous vessel sailing from Napier had a crew of 43 members out of which 39 were Filipino, two New Zealanders, and two Australians, they also carried around 5,800 live cows.
Three out of the 43 crew members have been found, one was found dead, while two others were rescued alive. All three of the crewmen were Filipino. The remaining forty crew are still missing and are being presumed dead. This includes 36 Filipinos, two Australian, and two New Zealanders, Lochie Bellerby and Scott Harris.
The private search team discovered wreckage from the vessel, including life jackets, and a life raft on an island near the disappearance of the ship.
This discovery gave some much-needed hope to the families that their loved ones might be alive, but on the following Tuesday Lochie Bellerby’s mother, Lucy Bellerby informed that the search had been called off around three weeks ago, she said, “At least we are comfortable in how hard we searched. It is very hard to let go and really disappointing that the search came up empty.”
However, she added, that the families can start to grieve now, with the search suspended. She said, “Now we can start accepting the loss of Lochie.”
The sinking of the livestock carrier vessel prompted calls for a ban on the live cattle exports and resulted in the introduction of new rules for exporters and a temporary ban on live cattle exports. The Ministry for Primary Industries informed it “would not allow exports to go ahead unless all requirements were met.”