Family of missing vet plead for renewed search for live export ship survivors

The family of Australian veterinarian Lukas Orda, who is missing at sea after a live export ship sunk near Japan, has pleaded for the Federal Government to lead a renewed search.

The Japan Coast Guard on Wednesday called off its full-time search for survivors from The Gulf Livestock 1, more than a week after it put out a distress call during a powerful typhoon in the East China Sea.

Dr Orda, 25, is one of two Australians among the 40 missing sailors who were on board the ship.

His father Ulrich, the head doctor at the Mount Isa hospital emergency department, and mother Sabine, have started an online petition calling for the Australian Government to enlist the help of other countries in a dedicated search.

Their petition says the Orda family is “greatly appreciative of the work and dedication of the Japan Coast Guard” but “devastated” to hear the full-time search was stopped.

Coast Guard officials, who were unable to locate any survivors since rescuing a Filipino sailor last Friday, have told the ABC they would continue to search for survivors as part of regular patrols.

The family says they are concerned that people “could be still floating in the ocean awaiting rescue” from one of the ship’s four life rafts and a lifeboat.

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Japanese rescue crew finds a survivor from the missing Gulf Livestock 1.

They say they are “sure with some discussion we could enlist other nations including our own to continue the search after the Japanese Government has made such a tremendous effort to find our loved ones”.

“We have set the bar high previously with our own searches for the missing Malaysian flight MH370 along with the successful rescue of other seafarers.

The family maintains there is a “strong possibility that at least some of the crew members including Lukas … made it into a missing lifeboat or raft”.

The Gulf Livestock 1, a large ship on the ocean.
The Gulf Livestock 1 was hit by a large wave.(Supplied: VesselFinder.com)

They say this is bolstered by information from the surviving Filipino sailor, relayed to them by Australia’s Consular Emergency Centre on September 7.

“When the engine of the ship failed in the storm the captain called all crew on the bridge in life vests to enter the lifeboats,” the petition says.

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