Water flooded onto terrified crewmen as they fought to save a stricken live export ship that capsized in stormy waters in the East China Sea.
The 11,947-ton Australian-owned Gulf Livestock One was carrying 43 crew and 5,800 cows when it got into trouble on Wednesday.
The vessel left New Zealand on August 14 and was due into the Port of Jingtang in Tangshan, China, today.
As the vessel headed across the East China Sea it began to flounder and the crew battled to keep it afloat.
Seawater invaded the interior of the Gulf Livestock One and ran over the electrics and machinery during its final few hours.
Seawater floods into the Gulf Livestock One shortly before it capsized in the east China Sea
Crew on the doomed ship struggle to keep it afloat in the East China Sea
The Gulf Livestock One whih was lost in stormy waters in the East China Sea
Flooding water made conditions slippery underfoot as the crew, of 39 from the Philippines, two from New Zealand and two from Australia, fought in vain to save the doomed ship.
Typhoon Maysak was blowing by southern Japan when the ship sank. The ship’s instruments showed that it was sailing into high winds of 56 knots or 66 miles an hour.
The captain of Gulf Livestock One sent a distress call to the Japanese Coast Guard at about 1.20am on Wednesday.
Rescuers in an aircraft and four boats plus divers searched for survivors. They found a bundle of orange rope and a life jacket with the ship’s name on.
An orange lifeboat was found by rescuers searching for survivors from the capsized Gulf Livestock One in the East China Sea
A dead cow from the stricken Gulf Livestock One in the East China Sea
Then on Friday the search teams found a body and multiple dead cows in the waters near where the ship sank.
A man was found unconscious and face down in the water about 75 miles north west of the island of Amami Oshima.
No details of the man’s nationality or crew status have been released but he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead, said Takahiro Yamada, a senior spokesman for the regional coast guard headquarters.
An Australian veterinarian is still thought to be among 42 crew still missing from the capsized ship.
Lukas Orda, 25, from the Gold Coast, was on board Australian-owned Gulf Livestock 1 when the captain sent a distress call to the Japanese Coast Guard at about 1.20am on Wednesday.
Mr Orda and his wife Emma welcomed their first child, Theo, six months ago.
Survivor Sareno Edvarodo, from the Gulf Livestock One, is pulled to safety by rescuers
Rescuers use a rope to save Sareno Edvarado from the East China Sea after the sinking of the Gulf Livestock One
A thankful crewman from the capsized boat is pulled to safety in the East China Sea
Rescuers wait to haul the soaking wet and frightened crewmen to safety
Sareno Edvarado wrapped in a blanket after his rescue from the stormy East China Sea
He moved to Queensland from Germany as a child before taking up studies at James Cook University after attending high school in Mount Isa.
Mr Orda was working with horses on the Gold Coast before joining the live export carrier as a vet in June, the Townsville Bulletin reported.
Japan’s coast guard dispatched planes and rescue boats to hunt for the ship and late Wednesday found a sole survivor, Sareno Edvarodo, the ship’s 45-year-old Filipino chief officer.
Dramatic photos released by the coast guard showed Edvarodo floating in the darkness in an orange life jacket and being pulled onto a boat with a rope as rescuers battled violent, rolling waves.
He was quickly brought to a large vessel, where coast guard personnel with surgical masks and gloves wrapped him with blankets.
He told rescuers: ‘Thank you, thank you very much. I’m the only one? No other one?” he asked the rescuers, then added, “I’m so sorry … (I’m) so lucky,’ said Fox News.