Family's plea: Bring them home

Family of Lukas Orda plea for search for missing livestock ship to resume

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Emma and Lukas Orda, with their son Theo. Photo: Winni and Mini Photography.

Emma and Lukas Orda, with their son Theo. Photo: Winni and Mini Photography.

Aa

The family of the Mount Isa vet missing after a live export vessel capsized in the East China Sea has made an emotional plea for the search to continue.

Aa

THE family of the Mount Isa vet missing after a live export vessel capsized in the East China Sea has made an emotional plea for the search to continue.

Dr Lukas Orda, 25, and fellow Australian William Mainprize, two New Zealand nationals and 36 Filipino crew remain missing after the Gulf Livestock 1 capsized during a typhoon on September 3.

Two survivors and another man, who later died, were rescued in the days after the incident, before the search was postponed as a second typhoon impacted the area.

The search resumed early this week, but the Japanese Coast Guard has now made the decision to effectively cancel the search.

Dr Orda and Mr Mainprize's families are appealing to the Australian Government to join forces with international counterparts to resume the search.

Dr Orda's father Dr Ulrich Orda and mother Sabine broke down as they fronted media this morning, urging the government to do everything in their power to bring the loved ones home.

"We are devastated to hear that the search for all missing loved ones was halted," Dr Orda said.

"We cannot understand how the decision was made to stop the search.

"We were advised... about information known to one of the survivors, before the accident happened everyone was wearing life vests.

"The captain told everyone to go to the bridge and to enter the life boats.

"Three crew did not reach the bridge and were washed overboard.

Missing vet Lukas Orda's parents Sabine and Ulrich have made an impassioned plea for the search for those missing on the Gulf Livestock 1 to continue.

Missing vet Lukas Orda's parents Sabine and Ulrich have made an impassioned plea for the search for those missing on the Gulf Livestock 1 to continue.

"When a big wave hit the ship it was pushed on to its side, the second survivors were washed off the ship and the lights went out.

"Given this information we are extremely concerned about the search being suspended or called off.

"We are speaking with our hearts broken, as a wife and six-month-old son, as parents, parents-in-law, we beg you, not to stop looking for Lukas and the other people missing at sea.

"Australia has repeatedly faced overwhelming odds and continues to prevail, we implore you not to give up on the chance of there being survivors.

"We urge Australia and other nations to join forces in order to continue the search after the Japanese government made such a tremendous effort to find our loved ones.

"Please help us bring them all home."

Katter's Australian Party leader Robbie Traeger said information provided by rescued crew members indicated there was still four life rafts and one lifeboat which had not been found.

"Everyone has been hopeful that there's some survivors out there and on the evidence that is there at the moment there's a very good reason to keep searching.

"There's four life boats still unaccounted for out there nad people can live for up to 30 days on a lifeboat.

"It's quite likely there could be some boats and some people on board those boats floating waiting for someone to come and help them."

Mr Katter said the search was scaled back to a 'routine patrol' on Wednesday, which effectively meant the search had been called off.

"It really means there is no search. These people could have moved 1000km from the spot, if you were going to have any hope you'd have to expand the dimensions of that search and in fact the opposite has been done."

Mr Katter appeal to the Prime Minister to provide immediate assistance.

"We need to deploy what ever assets are there.

"There was collaboration internationally for MH370.... after seven days we feel we owe it to these people to keep searching."

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne and Deputy Prime Minster Michael McCormack this evening issued a statement acknowledging the family's distress.

They said Japan's Coast Guard had advised the Australian Embassy in Tokyo and the Australian Consulate-General in Osaka that wide area surveillance by air and sea continues.

"Australia is engaging Japanese authorities closely on Japan's search and rescue effort, acknowledging Japan's responsibilities in this instance under the International Search and Rescue Convention," they said.

"Australia is encouraging Japan's ongoing air and sea efforts, and continues to offer the Japanese authorities any supporting capability needed. Japan's Coast Guard has assured Australia it will not give up its search for those missing.

"The Australian Government acknowledges and respects the professionalism and continuing response of the Japanese authorities and will continue to engage them closely."

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing support to the families of the missing Australians with all possible consular assistance.

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