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Japan finds second survivor after cargo ship sank in typhoon

Eduardo Sareno, the sole crew member rescued by the Japan Coast Guard after a livestock ship sank during a typhoon. Officials found the body of another man in the water Friday. (Japan Coast Guard/Reuters)

TOKYO — Japan's coast guard rescued a second survivor from a cargo ship Friday, more than two days after the freighter carrying 43 crew members and thousands of cattle capsized and sank during a typhoon.

Jay-nel Rosales, 30, of the Philippines, was found floating alone in a life raft, his orange boat spotted from the island of Kodakarajima in the East China Sea.

A plane flew to the spot and plucked him from the sea, the Japanese coast guard said in a statement, adding that he was conscious and able to walk unaided.

The Panama-registered ship, Gulf Livestock 1, was carrying about 5,800 cattle from New Zealand to China when it ran into Typhoon Maysak.

The rest of the crew — mainly Filipinos, with two Australians and two New Zealanders — remain missing.

Contacted in the Philippines, Gina Baulita, Rosales's wife, said her husband is in a hospital after his ordeal. "I couldn't sleep over the past two nights," she said in an interview. "I kept crying. We just kept praying." The couple have a month-old baby.

"I really hope the others are found," Baulita added. "We are praying for them, too. God is the only one we can count on."

The sinking brought added scrutiny onto shipping livestock by sea. New Zealand on Thursday suspended all live exports, local media reported. The animals on the Gulf Livestock were being shipped to China's dairy industry, Australian Livestock Exporters' Council chief executive Mark Harvey-Sutton told Bloomberg News.

Earlier Friday, the body of another man was found "drifting facedown" in the the water 75 miles northwest of the Japanese island of Amami Oshima, authorities said.

Coast guard spokesman Takahiro Yamada said the dead man's body was taken to Amami Oshima. He was wearing a lifejacket with the ship's name.

The 11,947-ton Gulf Livestock 1 sent a distress call about 1:45 a.m. Wednesday, 115 miles west of Amami Oshima, as Typhoon Maysak unleashed powerful winds and torrential rain, causing turbulent seas in the area, Japanese officials said.

Cargo ship carrying 43 crew and thousands of cattle sinks off Japan, survivor tells rescuers

Rescuers have also spotted the dead bodies of dozens of cattle floating in the ocean near the areas where the men were found, along with a bundle of orange rope and part of another lifejacket bearing the ship’s name. Aircraft, boats and divers continue to scour the ocean.

On Wednesday night, a naval P-3C surveillance aircraft spotted a Filipino crew member, 45-year-old Eduardo Sareno, the ship’s chief officer, wearing a life vest bobbing up and down in the water. He was rescued from the sea by a coast guard patrol boat.

Sareno told the coast guard that one of the ship’s engines stopped running, after which the vessel was hit by waves, capsized and sank.

There was an announcement on board to wear life jackets as the ship was capsizing, at which point he put on a life jacket and jumped in the sea, the coast guard quoted Sareno as saying. He said he had not seen other crew members by the time he was rescued.

The rescue effort was initially hampered by rough seas, strong winds and torrential rain. By the time the dead man was spotted Friday, the weather was cloudy, with winds around 20 mph, the coast guard said.

Dubai-based Gulf Navigation Holding, the owner and operator of the stricken ship, issued a statement expressing sympathy for those affected by the disaster.

“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,” it said.

Cabato reported from Manila.

Cargo ship carrying 43 crew and thousands of cattle sinks off Japan, survivor tells rescuers