Aussies Help Raise $50,000 To Resume Search For Missing Live Export Ship
An online fundraiser has been set up to launch a new search for a live export ship that disappeared earlier this month.
Two Australians, Lukas Orda, 25, and William Mainprize, 27, were among 43 crew members on board the Gulf Livestock 1, which capsized off the coast of Japan after being caught in a typhoon on September 2.
Other crew members came from New Zealand and the Philippines and it was transporting 5,800 cattle when it went missing. Two Filipino men have been rescued at sea and have provided information about what happened.
A week after the vessel disappeared, Japan's Coast Guard announced it was scaling back efforts to locate survivors.
The Australian families and friends of those who are missing aren't giving up hope they've been found alive. They've started a GoFundMe page to help the search continue and it's raised nearly $50,000 in less than a day.
The money 'will go towards satellite and drone surveillance technology, chartered Search & Rescue vehicles, awareness media campaigns and search incentives'.
Some high-profile Australian celebrities have contributed to the fund, including Russell Crowe, Mick Fanning, Jonathon Thurston, Kelly Slater, Steph Claire Smith, Sammy Robinson, Gang of Youths and the DMAs.
Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack have released a joint statement saying they are continuing to pressure Japan to keep the search going.
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"Australia is encouraging Japan's ongoing air and sea efforts, and continues to offer the Japanese authorities any supporting capability needed," it said.
There's also an online petition that is hoping to drive awareness for missing ship.
Lukas' parents Ulrich and Sabine's Change.org petition has received a whopping 55,000 signatures since being created last week.
The Orda family is 'greatly appreciative of the work and dedication of the Japan Coast Guard' but 'devastated' to hear the full-time search is over.
They believe from information provided by the two men rescued that other crew members made it into life rafts and could still be floating in the sea awaiting rescue.
They ask for help to enlist other nations to help the Japanese with the search 'to find our loved ones'.
"We [Australia] have set the bar high previously with our own searches for the missing Malaysian flight MH370 along with the successful rescue of other seafarers," they wrote.
The family maintains there is a 'strong possibility that at least some of the crew members including Lukas... made it into a missing lifeboat or raft'.
Featured Image Credit: Vesselfinder.com