Fresh hopes Australian ship crew could be found ALIVE a month after their vessel sank in a typhoon off Japan as a makeshift raft and debris is seen washed up on a Castaway-style desert island
- Two Australians and two New Zealanders among 40 crew missing from ship
- A privately funded search has discovered ‘significant’ debris on Tokara Islands
- Cargo ship ‘Livestock 1’ sank after caught in Typhoon Maysak south of Japan
- Three survivors were found with one saying that the crew boarded life-boats
- Japan’s Coast Guard called off search in September but private search ongoing
There are fresh hopes crew, including two Australians and two New Zealanders, from a freight ship that sunk off the coast of Japan during a typhoon could be found alive.
A privately funded search using satellites, airplanes and helicopters has discovered significant debris, including life rings and a makeshift raft, on the nearby Tokara Islands.
The cargo ship, Livestock 1, sank during Typhoon Maysak on September 2 in seas south of Japan close to the chain of 12 islands – four of which are uninhabited.
The family of Lochie Bellerby (pictured) have said a privately funded search has given fresh hope of finding survivors from the sunken ship
Some of the debris including a life ring that was washed up on the Tokara Islands south of Japan thought to be from the Livestock 1
The 43 crew on board were believed to have escaped on life rafts as the vessel sank below the waves – three were later found by Japan’s Coast Guard while the remaining 40 are unaccounted for.
Australian men Lukas Orda, from the Gold Coast, and Sydney man William Mainprize, along with New Zealanders, Lochie Bellerby and Scott Harris, are missing with the remaining Filipino crew.
Of the three men who were found, one tragically later died, with another being spotted in a raft 2km from the shore of a nearby island.
Japanese Coast Guard scaled back their search after a second typhoon swept through the area and then called off the search on September 10.
A private search was then launched with the help of a GoFundMe and GiveaLittle crowdfunding pages established by the missing men’s families.
Roughly a month after the official search was called off the private team have found items on the Tokara Islands they believe are from Livestock 1.
The family of Lochie Bellerby said in a statement the items include the canopy of a Viking life-raft, a single blue boot, deceased cattle, a life ring, and three orange barrels strapped together.
‘The Bellerby family are calling on the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs for official diplomatic support with the Japanese Coast Guard while the window of survivability remains possible,’ the statement said.
Young father and veterinarian Lukas Orda (pictured with wife Emma) is among 40 crew members still missing after their live export ship disappeared in the East China Sea
Scott Harris (pictured) was also on board the ship when during Typhoon Maysek
The search has cost a total of $125,000 with $50,000 going to fixed wing planes and $75,000 to helicopters.
Satellite searches continued to be conducted, while another aircraft search will be carried out this weekend.
Both the Australian and New Zealand governments have previously said they were in ongoing discussions with Japanese authorities regarding the search and Japan’s Coast Guard were patrolling the area.
One of the survivors told authorities everyone on board was wearing a life jacket before the ship sank and were preparing to board life-boats.
Rescue teams have scaled back their search for the ship and the remaining 40 crew members
Footage emerged showing panicked crew trying to stem the flow of water in the hours before it sank (pictured)
Lukas Orda’s wife Emma has not given up hope, posting an emotional video with their six-month-old son, Theodore in September imploring authorities to keep looking.
While Mr Mainprize’s family are also hopeful the lost men could be found alive after his brother Tom previously said they had received ‘good snippets of information’.
‘We went through a period of mourning but then we got all these good snippets of information that’s giving us hope that he’s still out there and with the other crew and just waiting to get picked up.’ he said.
‘We’ve got indications that they were kind of floundering for a while with the engines cut off.’
‘We know that the life rafts were deployed so there is a change they’re on a vessel somewhere.’
Japan’s coast guard rescued a second survivor in September (pictured) after rescuing the first survivor on the same night the ship was lost
Mr Mainprize’s brother Tom (pictured) said the family are hopeful the 27-year-old is still alive following ‘good snippets of information’