Sri Lanka Navy finds 14 bodies in capsized Chinese boat

Sri Lanka Navy finds 14 bodies in capsized Chinese boat

Australia had sent three aeroplanes and four ships to help in the international search-and-rescue efforts.

Rescuers had trawled an area of around 64,000 sq km, and “did not find any sign of survivors”, according to the Chinese transport ministry.

The fishing vessel’s distress beacon was first detected last week as Cyclone Fabian drove waves as high as 7m and winds as strong as 120kmh through the area.

Rough weather held back rescue efforts, with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Canberra warning of “challenging” survival conditions.

The vessel was owned by the Penglai Jinglu Fishery Company, one of China’s major state-run fishing firms.

It was authorised to fish for neon flying squid and Pacific saury, according to the North Pacific Fisheries Commission.

It left Cape Town in South Africa on May 5 for Busan in South Korea, according to the Marine Traffic tracking website, which last located the vessel on May 10 south-east of Reunion, a tiny French island in the Indian Ocean.

Penglai Jinglu Fishery also runs squid and tuna fishing operations in international waters, including the Indian Ocean and seas surrounding Latin America.