Brother of Australian missing after Japanese typhoon capsized an export ship issues plea for help

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The heartbroken brother of an Australian missing for nine days at sea after a typhoon capsized an export ship off the coast of Japan has issued an emotional plea for help.

William Mainprize, from Avalon on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, was lost at sea when the Gulf of Livestock 1 capsized on September 2.

He was among a crew of 43, including a second Australian, Lukas Orda, from Queensland, on board the ship – which was also carrying 6,000 animals.

On Wednesday, Japan’s Coast Guard suspended the search for 40 missing sailors after struggling to find any survivors since last Friday.

William Mainprize (right), from Avalon on Sydney's Northern Beaches, was lost at sea when the Gulf of Livestock 1 capsized on September 2

William Mainprize (right), from Avalon on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, was lost at sea when the Gulf of Livestock 1 capsized on September 2

But Mr Mainprize’s brother Tom said the family are hopeful the 27-year-old is still alive following ‘good snippets of information’. 

‘It’s a pretty tough time, it’s a bit of a mixture of emotions as well because obviously Will’s missing,’ he told Today on Friday morning.

‘We went through a period of mourning but then we got all these good snippets of information that’s giving us hope that he’s still out there and with the other crew and just waiting to get picked up.’

Tom said they first thought the ship was hit by a rogue wave they ‘weren’t ready’ for. 

‘But then we’ve got indications that they were kind of floundering for a while with the engines cut off and they had time to prepare,’ he said.

‘Considering that and what they’d do in that situation, we think there’d be time to get off the boat.

‘We know that the life rafts were deployed so there is a change they’re on a vessel somewhere.’

He explained that the raft could have taken crew members to one of many nearby islands, where they could still be desperately waiting for help. 

Mr Mainprize was among a crew of 43, including a second Australian, Lukas Orda (pictured with his wife Emma), from Queensland, on board the ship

Mr Mainprize was among a crew of 43, including a second Australian, Lukas Orda (pictured with his wife Emma), from Queensland, on board the ship

Mr Mainprize's brother Tom (pictured) said the family are hopeful the 27-year-old is still alive following 'good snippets of information'

Mr Mainprize’s brother Tom (pictured) said the family are hopeful the 27-year-old is still alive following ‘good snippets of information’

Tom said the it’s ‘very strange’ authorities decided to scale down the search with 40 people still missing.   

The teary-eyed brother pleaded for anyone able to help reignite a search. 

‘We just need everyone, not only our government, but all the other governments involved, even like private enterprise, who ever can help us with the search,’ he said.

Tom apologised to Today hosts Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon when he found himself overcome with emotion. 

‘Sorry guys,’ he told the hosts through tears. 

‘If anyone is going to survive and help all the rest of the missing crew, it’s Will.’

On Wednesday, Japan's Coast Guard suspended the search for 40 missing sailors after struggling to find any survivors since last Friday. Pictured: Mr Mainprize

On Wednesday, Japan’s Coast Guard suspended the search for 40 missing sailors after struggling to find any survivors since last Friday. Pictured: Mr Mainprize

Tom said he looks up to Mr Mainprize ‘so much now’ despite being the older brother.   

‘There’s more possibilities of them still being out there as opposed to the worst case scenario,’ Tom said.  

A petition calling on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to resume its search has gathered more than 10,000 signatures. 

‘Anything we can do right now to make noise, spread awareness and create attention to this issue is absolutely necessary,’ the petition reads.

‘We believe Will and these men to still be alive, but time is of the essence.’

The teary-eyed brother pleaded for anyone able to help reignite a search. 'We just need everyone, not only our government, but all the other governments involved, even like private enterprise, who ever can help us with the search,' he said

The teary-eyed brother pleaded for anyone able to help reignite a search. ‘We just need everyone, not only our government, but all the other governments involved, even like private enterprise, who ever can help us with the search,’ he said

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