The devastated parents of Lukas Orda, who went missing from a cattle ship in the East China Sea, have pleaded with the Australian government not to give up the search for their son.
The Queensland vet and NSW man Will Mainprize were among a crew of 43 on board Gulf Livestock 1 when it capsized in a storm off the coast Japan last week.
Ulrich Orda says his family was shocked to learn the search for his son had been scaled back by Japan's Coast Guard, but the federal government was quick to provide reassurances.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Foreign Minister Marise Payne noted the distress of family and friends and said the government was working closely with Japanese authorities.
"Japan's Coast Guard has advised the Australian embassy in Tokyo and the Australian consulate-general in Osaka that wide area surveillance by air and sea continues," a joint ministerial statement read.
"Australia is encouraging Japan's ongoing air and sea efforts, and continues to offer the Japanese authorities any supporting capability needed. Japan's Coast Guard has assured Australia it will not give up its search for those missing."
Two survivors have been rescued and another crew member died in hospital after being found floating unconscious on September 4.
Rescue efforts have been hampered by powerful storms.
The ship had sent a distress call on September 2, while it was sailing in rough seas as a typhoon passed the area.
The Gulf Livestock 1 left New Zealand in mid-August carrying 5800 cows to Tangshan on China's eastern coast. New Zealand temporarily suspended new approvals for exporting live cows after the ship's sinking.
The ship stalled when an engine stopped then tipped on its side and sank after being hit by a powerful wave.
The crew included 39 from the Philippines, the two Australian men and two New Zealanders.
Standing alongside his wife Sabine on Friday, Mr Orda thanked the Australian government for its support and asked that search efforts continue.
He said one of the survivors told investigators the crew were all wearing life jackets and readying to leave on life rafts.
"Given this information we are extremely concerned about the search being suspended or called off, especially since the people who were on the vessel were still at sea," Mr Orda said.
Rescuers have seen dozens of cows carcasses, an empty raft, a life vest carrying the ship's name and a bundle of rope floating in the area. They also found traces of fuel in the water - a sign of the ship's submersion.