Wife’s touching tribute to Queensland vet missing on capsized cattle ship

The wife of Queensland veterinarian Lukas Orda, one of two Australians believed to be on board the Gulf Livestock 1, which is believed to have sunk in a typhoon off Japan, has sent a heart-rending tribute to her missing husband.

Sep 04, 2020, updated Sep 04, 2020
Lukas Orda has been described as a gifted vet. (Photo: Facebook: Lukas Orda)

Lukas Orda has been described as a gifted vet. (Photo: Facebook: Lukas Orda)

The 25-year-old’s wife, Emma Orda, who recently had their first child Theo, posted a photo of the pair to social media overnight with a message for her husband.

“Please come home really soon, we love you,” the post read.

Mr Orda and another Australian are missing after a livestock ship capsized in rough seas off the coast of Japan.

The Gulf Livestock 1 had 42 crew members on board and was carrying more than 5,800 cattle in the East China Sea when it issued a distress call early on Wednesday.

Only one crew member has been rescued so far, telling authorities the ship sank during rough weather brought on by Typhoon Maysak.

The ship left New Zealand on August 14 and was due to arrive in China next Friday.

In June, Mr Ora posted on Facebook a map of his planned journey alongside a picture of the live export ship that was to be his “ride and home” for the 20-day trip.

Maritime Safety Queensland said the livestock carrier docked in Townsville on May 23, and Gladstone on August 6.

‘Outgoing and gifted’

Lukas Orda, 25, lived on the Gold Coast and recently worked as an equine vet at the Gold Coast Equine Clinic before being employed on the cattle export ship.

He went to Good Shepard Catholic College in Mount Isa, before he completed a 12-month internship at the Goulburn Valley Equine Hospital in Victoria.

Mount Isa Catholic priest Father Michael Lowcock said he knew Mr Orda and that he was “outgoing and gifted” and a valuable member of the community.

“It’s really devastating, particularly for his family here,” Father Lowcock said.

He said Mr Orda’s parents both worked at the local hospital and were well known in the community.

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“[They] are really good, good, solid citizens of the community.”

Orda’s father, Dr Ulrich Orda, is the director of the Mount Isa Hospital emergency department.

Father Lowcock said the entire Mount Isa community was devastated by the news of the accident.

“It’ll take a while to seep in.

“One can only hope that he will be found at least, for the family, whether or not that will be alive.”

Mr Orda studied at James Cook University (JCU) in Townsville.

In a statement, JCU said Mr Orda completed his veterinary science studies in 2016.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time,” JCU said in the statement.

In a statement, a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said the Australian Government was providing consular assistance to the families of two Australian crew members on board a cargo vessel reported missing in Japanese waters.

– ABC / Rachel Riga and Jessica Rendall

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