Published:Saturday, 05 Sep 2020 10:09
A second man has been found alive in the East China Sea two days after his cargo ship capsized during a typhoon.
The Gulf Livestock 1 was carrying 6,000 cows and 43 crew members when it went missing on Wednesday after being caught up in Typhoon Maysak.
Japanese officials said a 30-year-old Philippine national became the ship’s second known survivor when he was found drifting on a life raft on Friday.
Another man was found in the water hours earlier but pronounced dead.
The vessel’s chief officer, Eduardo Sareno, was rescued on Wednesday evening.
The crew of the freighter included 39 people from the Philippines, two from New Zealand and two from Australia.
Hopes of finding more survivors were fading on Friday as a new powerful storm, Typhoon Haishen, barrelled towards the area.
The Japanese coastguard said the second survivor is a 30-year-old Philippine national, who was working as a deckhand on the ship.
He was wearing a life jacket and floating in a raft when rescuers discovered him on Friday. Officials said he was conscious and able to walk unassisted.
The first survivor of the accident, 45-year-old Mr Sareno, was found late on Wednesday.
“I’m the only one?” he asked rescuers after being pulled from the water.
Rescuers on Friday also found a man floating in the sea unconscious, but he was later pronounced dead. The man’s identity is not yet known.
The Gulf Livestock 1 left New Zealand on 14 August headed for China, with the journey expected to take 17 days, New Zealand’s foreign ministry said.
On Wednesday, the ship sent a distress call from waters to the west of Amami Oshima island in south-western Japan, after being caught up in Typhoon Maysak.
The vessel was sailing in high winds of 58 knots (66 miles or 107 km per hour) at its last known position, according to the ship-tracking website MarineTraffic.com.
Mr Sareno said the ship’s engine failed before the vessel was hit by a wave and capsized. He said the crew were instructed to put on lifejackets and that he jumped into the water. He did not see any other crew members before he was rescued.
Rescuers on Friday said they found traces of fuel floating on the surface of the sea, in a sign of the ship’s submersion.
Cattle carcasses have also been found floating in the area where the ship is believed to have sunk.
Boats, aircraft and divers have all been used in the search and rescue efforts. Another powerful storm, Typhoon Haishen, was drawing near to the area on Friday.