A ship carrying 43 humans and 5,800 cows has capsized in the East China Sea, causing mayhem and leading to intense rescue operations.
Crew members and nearly 6,000 cattle were headed from New Zealand to China when the boat capsized after losing an engine in stormy weather, the only crew member rescued so far told Japan’s coastguard on Thursday.
The Gulf Livestock 1 sent a distress call from the west of Amami Oshima island in southwestern Japan on Wednesday as Typhoon Maysak lashed the area with strong winds and heavy seas.
Japan’s coastguard said it had rescued one crew member, Sareno Edvarodo, a 45-year-old chief officer from the Philippines, on Wednesday night (Tokyo time) while searching for the ship.
According to Edvarodo, the ship lost an engine before it was hit by a wave and capsized, a coastguard spokeswoman said.
When the ship capsized, the crew were instructed to put on lifejackets. Edvarodo told the coastguard he jumped into the water and did not see any other crew members before he was rescued.
Pictures provided by the coastguard showed a person in a lifejacket being hauled from choppy seas in darkness.
Typhoon Maysak made landfall in South Korea on Thursday with high-velocity winds causing the death of at least two people in the Korean city of Busan. According to a report on CNN, the area in which the boat capsized was being battered by the typhoon which could be categorized as a Type 4 Hurricane.
The incident has thrown light on the dangers of transporting live cattle. New Zealand animal rights organisation SAFE said the tragedy demonstrated the risks of the live animal export trade.
(With inputs from Reuters)