One sailor survives sinking ship off the coast of Japan; search operation continues

New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Sep 05, 2020, 05:24 PM IST


Story highlights

Over the last decade, at least six livestock carriers have gone down. All these ships had mechanical failures

Sareno Edvardo is the only survivor from the ship that sunk off the coast of Japan. One of his mates is dead, 41 others are still missing at sea. The crew of 43 had 39 people from the Philippines, two are from New Zealand and two from Australia.

Their ship sunk off the coast of Japan in the East China sea. It was sailing from New Zealand to China carrying 6,000 cattle. Now, thousands of dead cows are floating at sea. and it is not clear when the cargo container went down.

It sent a distress signal as typhoon maysak struck with strong winds on September 02.

The rescued filippino crew member, Sareno Edvardo, says the ship stalled when one of the engines stopped working. It capsized after being hit by a powerful broadside wave and eventually sank to the bottom of the ocean.

This is not the first time a livestock ship has capsized.

Over the last decade, at least six livestock carriers have gone down. All these ships had mechanical failures.

In 2009, a cargo ship carrying 82 crew members and 43,000 cattle sank close to the lebanese coast. The ship overturned in stormy weather. It was transporting cattle from Uruguay to Syria. A total of 39 crew members were rescued, and others were presumed dead. Most of the cattle drowned in the sea.

In 2015, a ship enroute from Somalia to the United Arab Emirates went down in the Gulf of Aden. Nearly 29 crew members were rescued, but two remained missing and 3,000 animals on board perished at sea.

In the same year, 5,000 cows fell into the ocean off the coast of Brazil. This occured after a lebanese ship docked at Vila do Conde port capsized. All the crew members were safely rescued, the cows drowned and many washed up on the shores of the port.

In November last year, a livestock carrier with 14,000 sheep sunk near a port in Romania. All 20 Syrian crew members were rescued. Around 30 sheep were found swimming in the ocean, but most of the livestock went down with the ship.

Shipping livestock on the high seas is a high-risk trade. All those on board, the crew and animals are at the mercy of nature, be it heat, storms or high seas.

Despite the dangers and the tragedies, hundreds of ships sail each day with a defenseless crew and thousands of vulnerable animals on board.