Former Shepparton Vet missing at sea

By Morgan Dyer

A former Shepparton vet is one of 40 crew members missing from a livestock ship that capsized in the East China Sea.

Father-of-one Lukas Orda previously undertook a year-long internship at Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital between February 2018 and February 2019.

Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital senior surgeon Jim Vasey reflected on his time working alongside Mr Orda.

“Lukas is a very nice friendly, hardworking, flexible individual who respected everyone,” Mr Vasey said.

Mr Orda’s wife Emma, also worked in Shepparton.

“Lukas previously worked with small animals in Queensland and studied at James Cook University in Townsville,” Mr Vasey said.

“Our thoughts, prayers and best wishes extended to his wife Emma and his family.

“I only just caught up Lukas in the Gold Coast in January this year.

“He has a real passion for animals and definitely chose the right career path for himself.”

An Australian stockhandler whose identity is yet to be confirmed is also missing from the ship, which was carrying 5867 head of cattle.

The men are employed by Australasian Global Exports, a Melbourne-based exporter that operates across several countries.

The Gulf Livestock 1 was en route to China from New Zealand, when it went missing on Wednesday after it sent a distress call, as Typhoon Maysak lashed the area with strong winds and heavy seas.

Three survivors have so far been found, but Japanese media, citing the nation's coastguard, said the second man died in hospital.

According to survivor Sareno Edvarodo, the vessel lost an engine before it was hit by a wave and capsized, a coastguard spokeswoman said.

When the ship capsized, crew were instructed to put on life jackets.

Mr Edvarodo said he jumped into the water and did not see any other crew before he was rescued.

A life jacket and cattle carcasses were collected from the area where the ship is believed to have sunk, the coastguard said.

The search is continuing for the remaining 40 crew members.

The Department of Foreign and Affairs is assisting the families of the two Australians.

The News understands the shipment was a New Zealand consignment, which will be a matter for their regulatory authorities.

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