Gulf Livestock 1: Second person found in search for missing livestock carrier

A second crew member from the missing ship Gulf Livestock 1 who was found by the Japanese Coastguard on Friday has died, Japanese media is reporting.

The man was found unconscious by rescuers at 6:30am Japan time on Friday and rescued at 7:16am, 120km from Amani Island, the coastguard said on Friday.

However, Kyodo News is reporting the man has now died. 

The coastguard said four vessels and one plane were currently involved in the search for more crew members.

Gulf Livestock 1 went missing off the coast of Japan on Wednesday after sending a distress signal in rough weather.

The Panamanian-registered ship was carrying 43 crew members, including two New Zealanders, 39 from the Philippines and two Australians.

On Thursday a Filipino crew member was plucked from the sea by the Japan Coastguard. He told rescuers the ship capsized and sank.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said the vessel left Napier on August 14 bound for Jingtang, China, with 5867 cattle onboard.

The ship's disappearance came as the region was lashed by Typhoon Maysak, making rescue conditions particularly difficult. Rescuers are now scrambling to find survivors before another typhoon hits.

The nationality of the second person found has not yet been released.

On Thursday the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was providing consular assistance to the families of the New Zealanders onboard the ship.

Gulf Livestock 1 is owned by Gulf Navigation Holdings. On Thursday (local time) the Dubai-based company released a statement saying it "deeply regretted" the situation. 

"Our hearts go out to those onboard and their families at this time," a spokesperson for the company said. 

"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."