Two weeks ago a cargo ship, the Gulf Livestock 1, sank off the coast of Japan during Typhoon Maysak. There were 43 crew onboard and 5,867 live cattle. Two of the crew members were Aussies – Will Mainprize and Lukas Orda – however they ‘re still missing at sea.
On the evening of September 9, Japan’s coast guard called off the search for survivors, despite offers from the Australian government and others to assist. At the time, only a handful of survivors had been rescued, including one of them told authorities his last memory on board was that everyone was putting on life jackets and ready to jump in the life rafts.
Now, the families of the two Aussies have launched a local campaign to restart the search, in the hope that they and their 41 fellow crew members are still on life rafts at sea.
What do we know about the crew currently?
Not much, unfortunately.
During its brief search, the Japan Coast Guard found two survivors, both from the Philippines, and a third unresponsive crew member who later died.
They also found several cattle carcasses in the same area, but it’s believed most if not all crew were able to get on life boats before it was too late.
What’s the view from Australia?
The family of Will Mainprize told Triple J’s Hack they would coordinate their own search whichever way possible.
A Facebook group is working around the clock to make progress, and includes “the guy who coordinated the MH370 search,” his brother Tom told the program.
Meanwhile, the family of Lukas Orda has publicly pled for the Japanese coast guard to continue searching.
“I stand here today with our son, Theodore, who is only six months old and faces the possibility of never knowing his father,” his wife, Emma Orda, said in a video.
“Each moment is a living nightmare. We don’t know whether our Lukas will come back to us or whether he is gone forever.”
How can I help?
A GoFundMe has been set up by the families with a goal of $300,000. All of the proceeds will go towards private search and rescue effort for all the remaining crew, including with satellites and drones.
There’s also a Change.org petition calling on the Australian and New Zealand governments to resume the search off the coast of Japan. So far it’s already got over 50,000 signatures.