Critical window to find missing crew members

Rescuers could have a critical two-week window to find more survivors from the live export ship that went missing off the coast of Japan earlier this month.

William Mainprize, 27, and Lukas Orda, 25, were two of 43 crew on board the Gulf Livestock 1 that was carrying 6000 cows when it issued a distress call after running into Typhoon Mayask off the Japanese coast on September 2.

They are among the 40 crew members who are still missing, with William’s sister, Sarah Mainprize, believing many of them could still be alive.

Multiple life rafts were deployed before the ship sank, with Ms Mainprize revealing each can carry about 20 to 30 people and are equipped with enough food and water to last four weeks at sea.

She told that there is hope her brother could still be out there surviving on one of these rafts.

“The fact it has now been two weeks since the ship sunk gives us a huge amount of hope because we still have a window of time in which we can find Will,” Ms Mainprize said.

Only two survivors have been found, along with the body of one of the crew members.

Despite the majority of the crew still missing, the Japanese Coast Guard announced last week it was scaling back the search to a regular patrol.

William’s brother, Tom Mainprize, said he and his family were baffled by the decision to give up so quickly on finding any more survivors.

“We were really confused when the decision was made to stop the search. There was only five days of actual searching and two of those had to be paused because of a typhoon,” he told

“We are getting all these really good communications that they were in the right place when the ship when down to have the best access to rafts and lifeboats.

“There are still four life rafts and 40 crew members missing, so that is a really strong indication that there are still people out there.”

RELATED: Family of missing Aussies beg for search to resume

Not only were the crew members trained in the ship’s safety protocols, William is a known outdoorsman and has been training in survival skills for about four years.

“Will also works as a wilderness instructor and goes on remote treks through Tasmania where he is responsible for up to 15 people at a time. He trains them in what to do if anything goes wrong and how to survive,” Ms Mainprize said.

“There is every possibility that he is still alive.”

William’s family have been through a rollercoaster of emotions since first hearing about the ship sinking almost two weeks ago, with Mr Mainprize saying they initially believed his brother and the rest of the crew had gone down with the ship.

“Then we started receiving all these bits of positive information that indicated Will could still be out there. As each day goes on we are feeling more positive because the diplomatic process is moving along and a lot of private individuals are also reaching out with helpful information,” Mr Mainprize said.

The family are still hopeful that the Japanese Coast Guard will resume their search but they are also looking into other possibilities, including getting the word out to fishing vessels in the area and researching how satellites and drones could support search efforts.

They have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money so they can enlist the help of satellite companies, drone operators and privately owned search and rescue aircraft and vessels.

Mr Mainprize said the latest information they have indicates William and the other crew members have likely drifted out of the original search area and are now closer to northeast of Japan.

“Anyone who thinks they can help please reach out to us. It will be one of the greatest survival stories of all time if Will is found and if they are involved they can help deliver this outcome,” he said.

“Please put yourself in our shoes. We never thought we would be in a situation where we would have someone missing like this.”

Yesterday, the wife of the other missing Australian crew member, Lukas Orda, issued a similar plea for authorities to continue the search for the missing crew.

Emma Orda filmed herself holding their six-month-old son Theo while begging authorities not to give up on finding the rest of the crew saying every day not knowing the fate of her husband was a “living nightmare”.

“To the Japanese Coast Guard, your ongoing search inspires our hope, I beg you to help up keep the search going so that this nightmare can end for all of us,” she said.

“The thought of our little Theo growing up without a father is just truly heartbreaking. But it is not too late to save them. It is not too late for Theo’s dad. We can still find them but we have to continue an expanded search.”

Ms Orda said the evidence given by the two crew members that have been found indicates the rest of the crew could still be alive.

“There are human beings still out there desperately waiting for us to find them. Limiting the search looks like we are giving up hope, which we cannot and will not do,” she said.

Source link

Leave a comment

Sign Up Now

Become a member of our online community and get tickets to upcoming matches or sports events faster!