Dozens Missing After Cargo Ship Sinks in Typhoon Near Japan

Date: Friday, September 4, 2020
Source: The Wall Street Journal

One crew member rescued from vessel transporting around 5,800 live cattle from New Zealand to China

TOKYO—Japan’s coast guard was searching for 42 missing sailors a day after a cargo ship carrying cattle sank in the East China Sea as a typhoon passed nearby.

One Filipino crew member was rescued from the Gulf Livestock 1, which sent a distress call from west of the Japanese island of Amami-Oshima on Wednesday night, the coast guard said.

The crew member, 45-year-old Chief Officer Sareno Edvardo, told the coast guard the ship became difficult to control after an engine stopped and capsized after being hit by a large wave.

The coast guard said the missing crew members are 38 Filipinos, two Australians and two New Zealand nationals. Three coast-guard ships and five aircraft are searching for the missing crew.

The Panamanian-flagged 450-foot-long vessel was carrying around 5,800 live cattle, many of which were seen drifting in the sea, according to the coast guard.

The ship left Napier in New Zealand on Aug. 14 and was due to arrive at the Port of Jingtang in Tangshan, China, after a journey of about 17 days, according to ship-tracking website Marine Traffic.

Live-animal exports are a lucrative trade for New Zealand. Last year the country exported around 32,000 live cattle to China in eight shipments, according to government data.

Typhoon Maysak passed through the East China Sea on Wednesday, pummeling some of Japan’s southern islands with powerful winds and torrential rain before causing flooding and power outages in South Korea.

Typhoons are common in the region at this time of year. Another typhoon is forecast to pass through the area where the cargo ship sank in the coming days.

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