News ‘It’s heart-breaking’: Panicked mother begs NZ government for help

‘It’s heart-breaking’: Panicked mother begs NZ government for help

Gulf Livestock 1
Livestock manager Scott Harris, on his maiden voyage, was one of two Kiwis on board along with two Australians. Photo: AAP
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The mother of a man missing after an international freight ship sank has made an emotional plea to the New Zealand government for help.

Karen Adrian, mother of missing father of two Scott Harris, has sharply criticised the NZ Minstry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) for keeping her family in the dark since the ship went down in the South China Sea last week.

The Gulf Livestock 1 capsized as Typhoon Maysak blasted the region, having left the New Zealand port of Napier bound for China.

On board were almost 6000 live cattle and 43 crew – including two from Australia and two Kiwis.

A rescue effort has been hampered by continued storms.

On Monday local time, Japan’s coastguard says its search-and-rescue mission for 40 missing crew remains suspended, with no timing set for resumption.

Ms Adrian told Radio NZ it was Mr Harris’ first trip managing the livestock on the ship.

“It was his maiden voyage for him. I know he would be terrified, absolutely terrified,” she said.

“It’s just horrendous. It’s heart-breaking. It’s unfair. It’s lonely.

“He just has to come home. I don’t care where he is. We need help to get him home, to find him and bring him home.”

DFAT is providing assistance to the families of two Australians on board a missing livestock ship. Photo: ABC

Three of the 43 crew have reportedly been rescued but only two have survived.

Five days after the ship capsized, Ms Adrian is refusing to give up hope her son is alive.

However she said she’d been given “piff all” information from MFAT, which she accused of withholding updates from the family, saying she “got better news off Facebook”.

“I know there’s been two typhoons. I know the chances are slim. But there’s still a chance. They could be in another lifeboat”.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she felt for the families but there was little information to give.

“We just don’t have a lot of information. I can only imagine how distressing that will be,” she told Radio NZ.

Ms Ardern said a second typhoon in the area in a week has put a hold on search efforts.