A privately funded Australian search team says it has found possible signs of life after the sinking of Gulf Livestock 1 last month
The livestock carrier, which left Napier in August bound for China, sank in the South China Sea after a typhoon hit the area. It had 43 crew members on board - including two New Zealanders and two Australians - and was carrying almost 6000 cattle.
On Thursday Harry Morrison, a friend of one of the missing Australian crew members and spokesperson for the search team told 9News Australia that possible signs of life had been found near to where the vessel sank.
"We have been privately funding a search and rescue for two-and-a-half weeks and we have narrowed it down into an area," Morrison said.
"We're finding a lot of debris from the boat, we've found two dead cattle on an island.
"We've found parts of a life raft, we've found life rings, we've found life jackets."
He said so far the search group had spent AU$50,000 (NZ$54,000) of donated money on fixed-wing flights and AU$75,000 (NZ$81,000) on helicopter flyovers. They were now running out of money and were seeking help from the Australian government.
Last month New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was offering information and support in the search for the missing ship.
Another search for survivors is also being conducted from California and on the Japanese shoreline, 9News reported.