Litany of safety issues emerge as search for livestock carrier crew continues

A litany of past safety issues are emerging from archives relating to the sunken Gulf Livestock 1.

The converted boxship, owned by the UAE’s Gulf Navigation, lost power on Tuesday evening while transiting through a typhoon off southern Japan. It was hit broadside by a massive wave and capsized.

Just one seafarer – the Filipino chief officer – is thought to have survived.

The Japan Coast Guard did find a second unconscious crewmember today, who was pronounced dead when transported to a hospital on the Japanese mainland. The coast guard has also reported today it has found the carcasses of many of the dead 5,800 cattle being transported by the ship.

Strong winds and torrential rain linked to Typhoon Maysak have already hampered search efforts, and now another typhoon, Haishen, is on the way.

The ship, originally built as a 630 teu boxship in 2002, has had a chequered past. European shipping database Equasis lists 25 port state control deficiencies in 2019 and 2020 alone, including a number relating to the main engine.

In July last year the ship drifted for a day undergoing repairs following an engine failure.

The Panamanian-flagged Gulf Livestock 1 was on charter to Melbourne-based Global Australasian Exports and was en route to China from New Zealand when the accident happened in the East China Sea.

Veterinarian Dr Lynn Simpson worked on livestock carriers for many years. Coming ashore she penned a series of exposés on the trades for Splash, all accessible here.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. MarConsult Schiffahrt (GmbH & Co) KG of Hamburg also manages sister ship JAWAN. On 2019 she had serious instability issues regarding fresh water tanks being banned from Australia by AMSA..

Back to top button