Australia’s largest livestock exporter, Wellard Rural Exports, said Thursday that their flagship carrier, the MV Ocean Drover, broke down in the Indian Ocean this week while carrying 42,000 sheep and 6,000 cattle.
An update from Wellard said that the vessel suffered a main engine malfunction while sailing to the Aqaba Gulf at the northern tip of the Red Sea from Western Australia.
The vessel’s Master was forced to stop the vessel for 72 hours to give the engineers sufficient time to assess and rectify the problem and test the repair. The vessel has since continued its journey to the Aqaba Gulf.
Wellard added that the provision of feed, water and ventilation to the 42,000 sheep and 6,000 cattle on board the vessel were unaffected by the mechanical issues due to the redundancy provisions built into the ship to protect and enhance animal welfare. The vessel continues to experience calm seas, low humidity and daytime temperatures of 27C, well below the 35-40C the livestock experienced in their paddocks before being transferred to the vessel.
The MV Ocean Drover (formerly the MV Becrux) is a purpose-built livestock carrier capable of carrying 75,000 sheep or 18,000 cattle to major markets around the globe. She was commissioned in 2002.