Tokyo, Sep 3 (efe-epa).- A cargo ship with 43 crew members and almost 6,000 cattle on board has capsized off the coast of Japan during stormy weather brought by Typhoon Maysak, prompting a search and rescue operation that was ongoing Thursday.
The crew comprised 38 Filipinos, two New Zealanders and two Australians, according to local media reports.
A filipino crew member was picked up by the Japanese coast guard and is the only confirmed survivor so far after the Panama-flagged Gulf Livestock1 sank near the remote southwestern Japanese island of Amami Oshima in the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, public broadcaster NHK reported.
The rescued crew member was transferred to a hospital on Amami Oshima, where he told authorities that he was the one to send the distress call early Wednesday when the cargo vessel ran into trouble in rough seas as the typhoon swept through the region.
He told authorities that the Gulf Livestock1 lost power in one of its engines and capsized when a strong wave hit the vessel side on.
Australia’s trade department said it had been in contact with the families of the two Australian crew members on board.
“The Australian government is providing consular assistance to the families of two Australian crew members on board a cargo vessel reported missing in Japanese waters,” a statement said.
The ship sent the distress call when it was 185 kilometers west of Amami Oshima and the Japanese coast guard rescued the crew member some 120 kilometers to the northeast of the island.
GulfLivestock1 was built in 2012 and measures 134 meters in length. It departed from Napier, New Zealand, on 14 August and had been due to arrive at the Chinese port of Jintang on Thursday.
Maysak drove a path over the Korean peninsula and caused damage in South Korea, where one person died in the adverse weather conditions.