Gulf Livestock 1: Heartbroken families beg Government to keep looking for missing Kiwis

The families of Kiwis and Australians missing after the livestock ship sank off the coast of Japan are pleading for the governments to get involved in the search.

The Gulf Livestock 1 ship went missing during a typhoon in early September while sailing from New Zealand to China.

Just two survivors have been rescued, a third man was found unconscious and later died.

On Friday, the Japanese coast guard called off its search, with 40 people on board still unaccounted for. 

But the families of New Zealanders Lochie Bellerby and Scott Harris, and Australians Lukas Orda and Will Mainprize believe the decision was premature.

They are appealing to the New Zealand and Australian governments to continue the search.

"We are devastated that the search for all missing loved ones was halted," said Lukas' father, Ulrich Orda.

"We beg you not to stop looking for Lucas and the other people missing at sea."

Guy Bellerby, the father of Bellerby, told Newshub it is feasible that survivors can still be found.

Four life rafts are still unaccounted for, warm climatic conditions, and the presence of multiple islands near where the ship sank are giving them hope Lochie could be found alive.

"We are quite hopeful that they are floating around somewhere in a liferaft or been washed up on an island and so it is quite probable and we are hoping that they are still out there," Guy said.

Lochie's mother, Lucy Bellerby, said she believes there's a chance that a lot of crew members are still alive.

"[We need to] actually get out there and send some help to the Japanese Coastguard who has already done such an awesome job, but it's time that we stepped in too," she said.

Queensland MP, Robbie Katter agreed the Australian government should help.

"Australia got involved with the Malaysian government with MH370 to help people out in the name of international collaboration. That's all we're asking here and I don't think that's a big thing to ask," Katter said.

The families say time is of the essence and they don't want to go into the weekend waiting.