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Family of crewman from sunken livestock carrier prepare private search

PortandTerminal.com, September 17, 2020

The shipowner of the Gulf Livestock 1 has requested for a renewed search for survivors following pressure from the families of the missing seafarers.

In an online news conference on Wednesday, family members of the missing pleaded for the search to continue and expand to focus on the number of uninhabited islands in the area where the ship went down.

The Panama-flagged Gulf Livestock 1, with some 5,800 cattle on board, sank on September 2 after apparently being hit by a “huge wave” and capsizing during Typhoon Maysak, the shipowner, Dubai-based Gulf Navigation, said in a statement on Wednesday. Among the 43 crew members onboard at the time, there have only been two survivors and 40 remain missing. The body of one deceased crew member was recovered during the initial search in the days following the incident.

Family to launch private search

Lochie Bellerby is missing from the Gulf Livestock 1 ship that was lost in a typhoon in the East China Sea. PHOTO: Otago Daily Times

The family of a New Zealand man missing in the East China Sea have slammed the New Zealand Government for its lack of support and say it has “no choice” but to prepare to launch their own rescue plan.

Lochie Bellerby went missing after Gulf Livestock 1, the boat he and fellow New Zealander Scott Harris were working on, sank with 43 people on board during a typhoon on September 2.

In a statement on Wednesday (Sept 16), family spokeswoman Sue Sherburd said while the family was “overwhelmed” by resources donated and the support and generosity of private individuals, they were “bewildered” by the lack of action by the New Zealand Government.

“The Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs say they are doing ‘all we can do’ but this is not what’s happening on the ground or if it is, the family are not aware of it.

“It would appear that we have no choice but to be ready to mount a private, locally-organised response and rescue plan.”

Yesterday, an independent satellite conducted a 15km wide sweep of the area capturing high definition images, she said.

The satellite will pass over again today.

“If the satellite search identifies ‘objects of interest’, we remain unclear about what Mfat and the wider-Government plan to do to mobilise quickly.”

Offers of support from concerned New Zealand and Australian organisations and individuals wanting to help move the search forward were coming in “thick and fast”.

Satellite organisations, Japanese translators, marine experts and local Japanese fishing villages had also been searching shorelines in their boats.

With reporting by NZHerald and Reuters

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