Pinoy crewman of capsized ship rescued; 42 others still missing

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    A FILIPINO crew member of a ship that capsized in stormy weather in the East China Sea while transporting cattle from New Zealand to China on Wednesday has been rescued by the Japanese Coast Guard, the Department of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

    The ship, Gulf Livestock 1, with a crew of 43, 39 of them Filipinos, and carrying nearly 6,000 cattle, capsized after losing an engine, the Filipino survivor, Sareno Edvarodo, a 45-year-old chief officer, told Japan’s Coast on Thursday.

    The cargo ship sent a distress call from the west of Amami Oshima island in southwestern Japan on Wednesday as Typhoon Maysak lashed the area with strong winds and heavy seas.

    According to Edvarodo, the ship lost an engine before it was hit by a wave and capsized, a coastguard spokeswoman said.

    When the ship capsized, the crew was instructed to put on lifejackets. Edvarodo told the coastguard he jumped into the water and did not see any other crew members before he was rescued.

    Pictures provided by the coastguard showed a person in a lifejacket being hauled from choppy seas in darkness.

    Three vessels, five airplanes and two divers had been deployed to continue the search, the coastguard said.

    Aside from the 39 Filipinos on board, the crew included two from New Zealand, and two from Australia.

    The Philippines government said it was coordinating with the Japanese coastguard as it searched for the missing crew members ahead of another typhoon building in the region.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs said the country’s consulate in Osaka is monitoring the situation and is coordinating with the Japanese Coast Guard.

    It said that Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola and the Philippine Labor Office in Osaka are also in close coordination with Korpil Ship Management and Manning Corporation, the local manning agency of the Filipino seamen.

    Typhoon Haishen is brewing south of Japan and is expected to hit the Korean coast on Sunday or Monday.

    At least one person was reported killed in South Korea in the southern city of Busan after Typhoon Maysak made landfall on Thursday, bringing strong winds and heavy rain.

    The Gulf Livestock 1 departed Napier in New Zealand on Aug. 14 with a cargo of 5,867 cattle bound for the Port of Jingtang in Tangshan, China. The journey was expected to take about 17 days, New Zealand’s foreign ministry told Reuters.

    The 139 meter (450-foot) Panamanian-flagged vessel was built in 2002 and the registered owner is Amman-based Rahmeh Compania Naviera SA, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

    The ship manager is Hijazi & Ghosheh Co. Calls to the owner and manager were unanswered. – With Gerard Naval and Reuters