A third crewman from a cargo ship that capsized this week off the coast of Japan with more than 40 crew and some 6,000 cattle on board was found alive on Friday after he was spotted by a search plane, Japan’s coastguard said.
The man, 30-year-old Filipino Jay-nel Rosals, was found on a liferaft waving for help 2 km (1.2 miles) off Kodakarajima, a small island in Japan’s southern Kagoshima prefecture, the coastguard said.
He was conscious and was able to walk when the coast guard rescued him. Rescuers also found an overturned orange lifeboat floating at sea some 4 km off Kodakarajima, but no one was found on that boat.
Rosals was only the third crew member to be found so far from the Gulf Livestock 1, which capsized in the East China Sea on Wednesday and is believed to have sunk. The ship, with 43 crew on board and a cargo of 6,000 cattle, had sent a distress call amid strong winds and heavy seas whipped up by Typhoon Maysak.
Earlier on Friday it emerged the vessel had a history of mechanical issues.
Rosals’ rescue came hours after another crewman died after being pulled unconscious from the water by the coastguard.
The search is still on for the remaining 40 crew members.
Rescuers have also found a life jacket and cattle carcasses in the area where the ship is believed to have sunk.
Gulf Livestock 1, owned by UAE-based Gulf Navigation, lost engine power before it was hit by a massive wave, according to Chief Officer Sareno Edvarodo, who was rescued on Wednesday. Edvarodo, a 45-year-old Filipino, remains in hospital.
The crew was made up of 39 people from the Philippines, two from New Zealand, and two from Australia, the coastguard said.
The ship is technically managed and crewed by Germany’s Marconsult Schiffarht GMBH, while the commercial manager is Jordan-based Hijazi & Ghosheh Co.
“We are monitoring the situation closely,” a spokesman for Gulf Navigation said in an emailed statement. “Our hearts go out to those onboard and their families at this time.”
The company is working with those involved in rescue efforts and regrets the loss of livestock, he added.
Several maritime reports logged over the past two years showed the ship may have had some mechanical defects and revealed operational concerns.
(Reporting by Akiko Okamoto and Tetsushi Kajimoto and Roslan Khasawneh; Writing by Jane Wardell and David Dolan; Editing by Lincoln Feast, Himani Sarkar and Frances Kerry)