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A livestock ship carrying 5,800 cows sent a distress signal at 4:45 am NZT yesterday in the East China Sea. The area that the ship has been in was affected by Typhoon Maysak.
At 4 pm a patrol plane spotted a lifeboat, but no one was in it. The patrol plane also spotted a man in a lifejacket nearby the empty lifeboat.
The ship left Napier in New Zealand on 4 August bound for China.
Onboard the ship, there were 43 crew members, including two New Zealanders.
Livestock carrier goes missing in the East China Sea
The GULF LIVESTOCK 1 has disappeared, probably hit by high waves & strong winds caused by typhoon #MAYSAK, our data shows. The search for the livestock carrier in load began as concern for the safety of 43 crew onboard rises pic.twitter.com/6H3yGOkUqr
— MarineTraffic (@MarineTraffic) September 2, 2020
The ship was expected to arrive in China by September 3.
Marianne Macdonald (SAFE Campaigns Manager) says this tragedy demonstrates the risks in the live export trade.
“These cows should never have been at sea. To make matters worse, they’re likely all pregnant.”
“This is a real crisis, and our thoughts are with the families of the 43 crew who are missing with the ship. But questions remain, including why this trade is allowed to continue.”
Macdonald says that it is a high-risk trade that puts the lives of animals at risk, which is why exporting of live animals must be banned.
Image courtesy: N Bourke