The family of one of the two New Zealand crew on board the cattle ship that went missing in a typhoon off the Japanese coast is considering starting a private search in the East China Sea.
Southland man Lochie Bellerby was among the 40 crew of the Gulf Livestock 1 which are still missing after the ship sunk on September 3. Fellow New Zealander Scott Harris was also on board and is also unaccounted for.
The Bellerby family said in a statement that they’re “bewildered at the lack of action by the New Zealand government”, which is leaving them no choice but to mount a “private, locally-organised response and rescue plan”.
“The Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs say they are doing ‘all we can do’ but this is not what's happening on the ground or if it is, the family are not aware of it.”
The Bellerby family say they have been inundated with “incredible offers of support” from “concerned New Zealand and Australian organisations and individuals wanting to help accelerate the search”.
“These offers are from satellite organisations, Japanese translators, local Japanese fishing villages in boats searching shorelines, marine experts helping with forecasting, to shipping vessels in the area scanning the ocean,” the Bellerby family said in a statement.
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.
Japanese authorities formally suspended full-time search efforts for the crew on September 9.