Authorities tight-lipped on Gulf Livestock 1 investigation

Eric Barker, 11/04/2022

The Gulf Livestock 1, formerly named the Rahmeh, was carrying 43 crew members and 5,867 dairy heifers from NZ to China when it disappeared during a Tyhpoon in the early hours of September 2. (Image: VesselFinder.Com)

DETAILS of an investigation into the capsizing of the Gulf Livestock 1 are still not being released almost two years after it happened.

Two Australians were among 43 crew members onboard the vessel, which was carrying almost 6,000 dairy heifers from New Zealand to China when it disappeared in September 2020. Panama authorities have been leading an investigation into the disaster without releasing any details to the public.

NZ media outlet Stuff reported on the weekend that the findings of the investigation had been handed to the NZ government and NZ families of the victims, with none of them releasing or discussing it.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said last year it was trying to obtain the findings of the investigation. An AMSA spokesman said the organisation was hoping to have access to the investigation soon.

“AMSA is aware the release of the Panama investigation into the loss of the Gulf Livestock 1 is imminent,” the spokesman said.

“While AMSA does not have jurisdiction over the investigation, AMSA is hopeful the report addresses some of the fundamental concerns that may have led to the loss of the Gulf Livestock 1.”

Beef Central understands the report has not found its way to the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council.

Event plagued by controversy

The handling of the Gulf Livestock 1 disaster has been criticised since it happened in 2020, with Japanese authorities scaling back to the search for survivors after a week.

Late last year, the father of Australian vet Lukas Orda, who was onboard the ship, publicly aired his frustrations with the way the industry and government handled the disaster.

Dr Ulrich Orda told Beef Central in December, AMSA, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and Prime Minister Scott Morrison had been reluctant to push for outcomes. He said there was no compensation, death certificate or report handed to the family.

“The message is that if you work for the live export industry and something happens, do not expect anyone to help you,” he said.

“I don’t think it is in the best interest of the industry to have this message out.”

  • Click here for the full story with Ulrich Orda last year.








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