TOKYO: A second man found after a cattle ship capsized off Japan while en route from New Zealand to China has died, Kyodo news reported on Friday (Sep 4).
The Japan coastguard had said the man was found unconscious about 120km north-northwest of Amami Oshima island and transferred to a hospital. Kyodo news cited the coastguard as saying the man had died.
A life jacket and cattle carcass were also collected from the same area, the coastguard said, and the search was continuing for 41 other crew members.
Earlier on Friday, the coast guard said they found the man floating face-down and unresponsive at sea as they searched for survivors from the ship that sank during a typhoon.
One survivor had been rescued, and early on Friday morning, a coast guard vessel "discovered a man face-down adrift at sea", a statement said.
The ship called Gulf Livestock 1 was carrying nearly 6,000 cows, when it sank off Japan's west coast on Wednesday as Typhoon Maysak passed through the area.
The ship sent a distress signal early on Wednesday, and the coast guard was able to rescue one survivor that evening - a Filipino chief officer named Sareno Edvarodo who was found bobbing in the open ocean in a lifejacket.
The crew of 43 was made up of 39 people from the Philippines, two from New Zealand, and two from Australia, the coastguard said.
SECOND TYPHOON APPROACHES
The coastguard quoted Edvarodo as saying the ship lost an engine before it was hit by a wave and capsized.
He told rescuers he had put on a life jacket and dived into the sea after a warning announcement on board on Wednesday.
There were no details on when and where the ship sank, but Edvarodo said he had not seen other crew members while waiting to be rescued.
A rubber boat was spotted late on Wednesday in the area being searched for survivors, but the coast guard said they had not confirmed if it was linked to the ship.
The coast guard said on Friday they had seen dead livestock, and retrieved a life jacket. Four coast guard vessels, a defence ministry plane and specially trained divers are involved in the search-and-rescue operation.
Japan is currently in its annual typhoon season, and a second massive storm is on course to arrive in the same area around Sunday, according to local forecasters, potentially limiting the time the coast guard can continue to search.
The ship had been travelling from Napier in New Zealand to the Chinese port of Tangshan.
It had experienced engine problems before: a 2019 observer report by Australian authorities noted that the boat was unable to manoeuvre for 25 hours after an issue with its main engine while en route to China.
New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) said on Thursday it was temporarily suspending live cattle exports after the incident.
"MPI wants to understand what happened on the sailing of the Gulf Livestock 1," it said.