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Ship carrying livestock and crew missing off Japan coast - NHK

WELLINGTON, Sept 3 (Reuters) - The Japanese coastguard is looking for a cargo ship carrying livestock and dozens of crew members that went missing after issuing a distress signal due to typhoon Maysak, Japanese public broadcaster NHK said.

The Panamanian-registered vessel called Gulf Livestock 1 sent the distress call from the East China Sea, to the west of Amami Oshima Island in southwestern Japan, NHK said.

The vessel was believed to be carrying 5,800 cows and 43 crew members, which included 39 from the Philippines, two from New Zealand, and at least one from Australia.

Strong winds and rains from typhoon Maysak lashing the region were hampering rescue efforts for the ship, which was on its way to China from Napier in New Zealand. The New Zealand foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

NHK reported later the coastguard had spotted a person adrift wearing a life jacket, as well as an object that looked like a lifeboat while searching for the ship. (Reporting by Praveen Menon; editing by Richard Pullin)

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