A Givealittle page has been launched by the family of a New Zealand man missing after the sinking of the Gulf Livestock 1 ship off the coast of Japan.
The page aims to raise funds to help launch a private search for the 39 men still missing at sea.
Southland man Lochie Bellerby and fellow New Zealander Scott Harris remain unaccounted for after the Gulf Livestock 1 went down in Typhoon Maysak in the East China Sea on September 3. Two Filipino crew members have been found alive, and one has been found dead.
The family of Lochie Bellerby released the following statement today:
"As the family prepares for the possibility of having to conduct a private international search for Lochie, and the other 39 lost men at sea, they understand that at this time, all new information the family can provide to MFAT, is being passed on to the Japanese Coastguard through the New Zealand embassy in Tokyo.
"While this is a step forward, the family continue to seek more information from MFAT, including full, unfiltered survivor statements including the events leading up to the capsize of the ship, and SAR details of the search area undertaken by the Japanese Coastguard.
"Given MFAT’s current focus on recovery of the black box, the family continues to independently gather advice from marine authorities and search experts for how to escalate and deploy a targeted search off the coast of Japan, and to have regular info bulletins going to ships passing through the area.
"The family are working with the Australian families and supporters to combine efforts as best they can, and remain grateful for all the support and advice with search efforts so far."
The Givealittle page has so far raised $18,000 of its $100,000 goal.
Japanese authorities formally suspended full-time search efforts for the crew on September 9.