HANGZHOU -- Six Chinese fishermen are missing after their boat sank early Sunday in a collision with a cargo vessel from the Republic of Korea (ROK) off the coast of eastern Zhejiang Province, local maritime sources said.
The collision occurred around 2 a.m. Sunday on the sea about 20 nautical miles southeast of the Dongtou islands near Wenzhou, according to maritime police of Zhejiang. The Chinese boat from Dongtou with seven aboard sank immediately after the accident.
By midday, one of the crew members of the wooden Chinese boat has been rescued but the other six are still missing.
"I was steering the boat when the collision happened, while the other fishermen were all sleeping in the cabin," said the rescued fishermen whose name was not immediately known.
A helicopter and 24 vessels have been dispatched to search the area for the missing people.
The 1,100-ton ROK ship, "Keoyoung Chemi", reported the accident to the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center soon after the collision. The freighter was on its way to Jiangyin port in eastern coastal Jiangsu Province from southeastern Fujian Province.
The ROK ship normally carries chemical products but hauled no cargoes during this voyage.
The cause of the collision is under investigation.