Family of missing vet call for continued search

Lukas Orda

The family of a vet missing after the capsize of a live export vessel are calling for the resumption and broadening of the search.

25-year-old Mount Isa vet Lukas Orda is among 40 crew members missing from the Gulf Livestock 1, a vessel which capsized amid typhoons off Japan in early September.
Carrying cattle and 43 crew, the vessel departed Napier, New Zealand, bound for China before getting lost on September 2.

Japan’s coast guard scaled back its quest for survivors to the west of Amami Oshima Island in south-western Japan on September 9 despite concerns that survivors may be drifting outside the search zone.

Orda’s father Ulrich cited the advice of a marine expert and said his son and other survivors may have drifted in a north-easterly direction, the ABC reported.

“[Foreign Affairs Minister] Marise Payne and her department are in constant meetings and discussions about what actions to take … however, meanwhile they may be slowly dying out there,” he said.

“Please, our boys need help now … their chance for survival in a boat or raft drops by the hour.

“We have received maps of the search conducted, and also maps predicting where they may have been at the time and are potentially now.”

Orda’s wife Emma also made a public video plea and said there has been promising evidence from survivors of the tragedy.

“There’s too much hope for the search to be scaled back in any way,” he said.

“To the Japanese coast guard … I beg you to keep the search going so that this nightmare can end for all of us.”

State member for Traeger Robbie Katter has been critical of the Federal Government’s response to calls for a resumption of the search.

“Again, we plead with the Australian Prime Minister to get on the phone to the relevant authorities in Japan, as well as other international leaders, and recommence an extended search for these people,” Katter said.

“Four life rafts and a lifeboat are still unaccounted for … a large-scale international search must be commenced immediately and carried out for at least another 10 days.”
At the time of writing two surviving crew members have been found, as well as another person who has since died.

More than 50,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the resumption of a wider search.

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