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Wife of Queensland man Lukas Orda, missing from sunken ship Gulf Livestock 1, begs for search to continue

By Rachel Riga, Sunday September 13, 2020 - 15:13 EST
ABC licensed image
Lukas Orda is one of two Australians missing since the boat vanished. - ABC licensed

The wife of Queensland veterinarian Lukas Orda, who went missing when the livestock ship he was working on capsized off the coast of Japan, has made an emotional plea for search efforts for possible survivors to be expanded and resumed full time.

Emma Orda released video footage captured by her husband, showing the ship being pounded by rough seas hours before it disappeared.

She also filmed herself delivering a statement, holding the couple's baby son, begging for search efforts to continue.

"I stand here today with our son, Theodore, who is only six months old and faces the possibility of never knowing his father," she said.

"Each moment is a living nightmare.

"We don't know whether our Lukas will come back to us or whether he is gone forever."

after being hit by two typhoons last week.

Last week, Japan's Coast Guard scaled back its search for survivors, more than a week after the ship sent out a distress call.

This prompted for the Australian Government to pick up the search.

Mr Orda's father, Ulrich Orda, said survivors told authorities the crew was ready to abandon the ship on lifeboats.

"Before the accident happened everyone was wearing life vests," Dr Orda said.

"The captain called everyone to go to the bridge to enter the lifeboats.

"We extend our plea to all Australians: Please help us so the Government will recommence and extend its search to bring them home."

On Friday evening, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne released a statement saying Japan's Coast Guard had advised the Australian embassy in Tokyo "wide-area surveillance by air and sea continues".

Video taken on board the ship by Mr Orda before it disappeared shows the livestock carrier rolling heavily in rough seas.

The ABC was told Mr Orda messaged his wife later that day to say weather conditions had further deteriorated.

Ms Orda thanked Australian and Japanese authorities for their efforts so far but said evidence from rescued crew members provided hope more survivors could be found.

"I beg you to help us to keep the search going so that this nightmare can end for all of us," she said.

"We can still find them, but we have to continue and expand the search.

"There has been so much promising evidence provided by the survivors.

"There is too much hope for the search to be scaled back in any way.

"There are human beings still out there desperately waiting for us to find them.

"Limiting this search looks like giving up, which we cannot and will not do."

Last week, the second person to be rescued after the ship sank.

Ms Orda said her son could not grow up not knowing what happened to his father.

"The thought of Theo growing up without his father is heartbreaking," she said.

"Until we find them, I won't be able to answer him why he has to grow up without his dad.

"It is questions like this that will haunt me and all the other affected families forever.

"But it's not too late to save them."


© ABC 2020

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