A veterinarian from Mount Isa who trained in Townsville and then worked at Goulburn and the Gold Coast has been identified as one of the two Australians who were on board the Gulf Livestock 1 which is believed to have capsized in the South China Sea.
Lukas Orda studied veterinary medicine at James Cook University in Townsville and worked at the Gold Coast Equine Clinic before joining the cattle export ship as a veterinary officer in June.
He is married with a six-month-old son.
After moving with his family from Germany to Australia attended the Good Shepherd Catholic College in Mount Isa. His father is the Mount Isa emergency department director Ulrich Orda.
He had been working with the Gold Coast Equine Clinic and previously the Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital before joining the Gulf Livestock 1 as a veterinary officer in June.
The identity of the second Australian believed to have been travelling on the vessel as a stock handler has not yet been confirmed.
Rescue teams are continuing their search for remaining crew members which include 38 from the Philippines, two from New Zealand and two from Australia.
A survivor found floating in the darkness in an orange life jacket, the ship’s 45 year old Filipino chief officer Sareno Edvarodo, told rescuers the ship lost an engine before it was hit by a wave and capsized, according to a spokesperson for Japan’s coastguard.
According to media reports today search and rescue teams found a second person drifting face down in the water at 6:30am. The person, whose nationality is not known, has since been confimed to have died.
Media outlets have also reported that a number of cow carcases have been located in the area.
The owner of the vessel, UAE-based Gulf Navigation, has issued a statement today praying for survivors.
“Our hearts go out to those onboard and their families at this time. We also express deep regret for the sad loss of the livestock on board. We are monitoring the situation closely and working closely with those involved in rescue efforts. We pray that there are other survivors.”
Beef Central has been unable to make contact with the Australian based exporter which was shipping the cattle from NZ to China on board the Gulf Livestock 1, Australasian Global Exports.
The New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries told NZ media overnight it has temporarily suspended consideration of cattle livestock export applications.
New Zealand has banned the export of cattle for slaughter since 2016 but allows exports for dairy production and breeding.