As the Ocean Drover limps its way to the Gulf of Aquaba at 70% speed, sheep appear to be dying rapidly. With a reported mortality of 1.5% approximately 48h ago, Wellard have made a media release indicating that the reportable mortality of 2% has now been exceeded with the ship still not at its destination.
Apparently, a longer than normal voyage duration (due to mechanical issues, which caused the vessel to stop for repairs before proceeding at 70% of its normal speed) and the resultant change in feed after having to take on emergency food have been the main causes of the mortality on board.
So, given the mechanical issues, if it didn't have enough feed to continue after breaking down off Cocos (seemingly on 26-27th Jan), why didn't it turn back to Australia? It seems as though the mandatory extra 7 days of food that the ship should have been carrying was not enough with the slow speed, thus the loading of ?problem food later in the trip.
Many questions to be asked about this voyage...
And yet another long haul voyage disaster!