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2nd crew member, dead cows found after ship sank off Japan

(In this photo released by the 10th Regional Japan Coast Guard Headquarters, a Filipino crewmember of a Panamanian cargo ship is rescued by Japanese Coast Guard members in the waters off the Amami Oshima, Japan Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. Japanese rescuers have safely plucked the crewmember from the sea while searching for the cargo ship carrying more than 40 crew and thousands of cows went missing after sending a distress call off the southern Japanese island. Photo: The 10th Regional Japan Coast Guard Headquarters via AP)

By MARI YAMAGUCHI, TOKYO (AP):- Japanese rescuers found the second crew member and multiple dead cows Friday in waters where a livestock ship capsized and is believed to have sunk during stormy weather two days earlier, coast guard officials said.

The man was found unconscious and floating face down about 120 kilometers (75 miles) northwest of Amami Oshima in the East China Sea, where rescuers have been looking for the Gulf Livestock 1 ship and its missing crew since it sent a distress signal early Wednesday.

The man, whose nationality and crew status is unknown, was taken to a hospital but later pronounced dead, said Takahiro Yamada, a senior spokesman for the regional coast guard headquarters. He said rescuers also spotted dozens of cow carcasses floating in the area. So far, he said he was not aware of reports of any carcasses washing ashore the Japanese coast.

The 11,947-ton ship, its 43 crew and 5,800 cows left New Zealand in mid-August heading to Tangshan on China’s eastern coast.

The Filipino crew member, 45-year-old chief officer Edvardo Sareno, was rescued late Wednesday. He told rescuers the ship stalled when an engine stopped, then capsized after being hit by a powerful broadside wave and sank.

Coast guard officials quoted Sareno as saying that he put on a life jacket and jumped into the sea, and that he has not seen any other crew members since then.

The total crew included 39 from the Philippines, two from New Zealand and two from Australia.

Rescuers in four coast guard boats and an aircraft as well as divers joined Friday’s search and rescue operations. A bundle of orange rope and a life jacket carrying the ship’s name were also recovered, according to a coast guard statement.

Typhoon Maysak was blowing by southern Japan at the time of the sinking. The ship’s automated tracker showed it sailing in high winds of 58 knots (66 miles or 107 kilometers per hour) at its last known position, according to the ship-tracking website

The ship’s operator, Gulf Navigation Holdings PJSC, based in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, declined to comment. The company, traded on the Dubai Financial Market, says it owns and operates chemical tankers, livestock vessels and other ships.

Another powerful typhoon is approaching southern Japan over the weekend.

Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.

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