Life raft saved second Pinoy from typhoon shipwreck off Japan: fiancée

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 07 2020 12:40 PM | Updated as of Sep 07 2020 01:26 PM

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A life raft saved the second Filipino survivor from a typhoon-battered ship that capsized off Japan last week, his fiancée said Monday. 

Jay-nel Rosales, 30, was fighting icy waves when he spotted and swam towards the floating orange boat, said his wife-to-be Gina Baulita. 

“Hindi na po niya nakita ang mga kasamahan niya,” she told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo, as 37 other Filipino seafarers remained missing. 

(He no longer saw his companions.)

Rosales was found waving for help on Friday, several kilometers from Kodakarajima, a remote island in southwestern Japan, after Typhoon Maysak caused the sinking of their ship, the Gulf Livestock 1, two days earlier.

Baulita said Rosales is currently in a hospital in Japan, recovering from fever brought by his infected wounds.

The first survivor from the tragedy, a 45-year-old Filipino chief officer, told rescuers he put on a life jacket and jumped into the sea after a warning announcement on board.

He said one of the cattle ship's engines stalled and the vessel was overturned by a powerful wave before eventually sinking.

Typhoon Haishen, a much stronger storm, forced the Japan coast guard to suspend its search for the crew of the Panamanian-registered vessel over the weekend.

The crew members consist of two Australians, 39 Filipinos including the captain, and two New Zealanders.

The ship, carrying some 6,000 cows, had been traveling from Napier in New Zealand to the Chinese port of Tangshan. It had experienced engine problems before: a 2019 observer report by Australian authorities noted that the boat was forced to drift at sea for 25 hours after an issue with its main engine while en route to China.

Millions of cattle and sheep are shipped every year, generating hefty profits for meat producers in countries like Australia and New Zealand. But animal rights advocates say that such journeys are often too long, regulations are not up to scratch and the rules are easily flouted.

The Philippines is one of the world’s leading suppliers of merchant seafarers, whose remittances help to fuel the country’s economy. Last year, there were nearly 500,000 Filipino seafarers, on vessels ranging from oil tankers to cruise ships. — With reports from Agence France-Presse, Kyodo News and The New York Times 

TeleRadyo, Sept. 7, 2020