The only crew member known to have survived after a live export ship capsized off the coast of Japan asked his rescuers: “I’m the only one?” as he was pulled from the sea.
A search for survivors from the Gulf Livestock 1, feared to have sunk off Japan’s south-west coast, has been ongoing since Wednesday.
Filipino crew member Eduardo Sareno was rescued by the Japanese Coast Guard on Thursday night.
Video of the rescue shows Mr Sareno, wearing a singlet and shorts, being helped aboard a coastguard vessel in wild weather conditions.
“Thank you, thank you. Did you get some crew there also? In the Gulf? I am not … I’m the only one?” he asks.
“No other one? I am so.… I don’t know what’s happening to some of my crew.”
Mr Sareno told coastguards the ship’s engine cut out.
He said the vessel was then hit by a huge wave, causing it to capsize.
Another man who was found floating unconscious in the sea nearby has since died.
Forty-one people, including two Australians, are still missing.
The Panamanian-registered, 11,947-tonne Gulf Livestock 1 was carrying 5867 cattle from New Zealand to China when it sent a distress call early on Wednesday.
On Friday morning rescuers saw dozens of dead cattle floating in the sea, and a lifejacket with the name “Gulf Livestock” on it.
Family and friends of 25-year-old Australian vet Lukas Orda are desperately hoping he will be found safe.
The Gulf Livestock 1 has a chequered history.
In July this year the Philippine Navy said it had to provide assistance to the ship after it experienced engine trouble in the country’s southern waters.
In May 2019, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority identified serious deficiencies in the ship’s navigation system, stopping it from leaving Broome.
AMSA found that the on-board safety management system failed to provide for “operational safety of navigation and maintenance of ship and equipment”.
It found some crew were not properly trained on how to use the ECDIS electronic navigation system, that the system was not updated with the latest navigational hazards, and consequently was not being used.
The deficiencies were rectified and the ship was able to leave port after a further safety audit.
It later safely completed its journey to Indonesia.