AUSTRALIA'S cattle industry is praying for the safety of a young Queensland veterinarian and more than 40 other crew aboard a live export vessel that capsized in stormy weather in the East China Sea.
Lukas Orda, from Mount Isa, was one of two Australians on board the Gulf Livestock 1, a New Zealand ship taking almost 6000 head of cattle to China.
The vessel sent a distress call from the west of Amami Oshima island in south western Japan on Wednesday as the region experienced strong winds, heavy seas and drenching rains from Typhoon Maysak as it headed towards the Korean peninsula.
International media have reported one crew member has been rescued. The reports have also indicated the vessel lost an engine before sending the distress call.
Dr Orda, 25, moved from Germany in his teens and studied at James Cook University. He was working as an equine vet on the Gold Coast before recently joining the live export business. Dr Orda had also worked in Goulburn and had recently become a father.
Agforce's cattle leader Will Wilson said Dr Orda's family, friends, community and work colleagues were in the thoughts of all in the cattle industry at the moment.
"Come daylight hours, we are sure the best teams are out there searching and we hope Australia is offering whatever help it can," Mr Wilson said.
"Veterinarians on live-ex vessels do an incredible job. They are invaluable."
Disclaimer: This was first published on Farm Online, a sister publication of the North West Star.
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