Eighteen seamen are missing and another was killed by a shark after their fishing boat was swamped by high waves off Taiwan, the island's coast guard said.
The coast guard had rescued another nine crew members from the 993-tonne boat, agency spokesman Hsieh Ching-ching said.
High winds whipped up huge waves, forcing the crew to send a distress signal from 80 km (50 miles) south of Kaohsiung near the southern tip of Taiwan, Hsieh said.
"The ocean conditions were terrible," Hsieh said. "The waves were so big they just inundated the boat."
He said one crew member was killed by a shark but gave no other details.
Twelve of the original crew list are from China, eight are Vietnamese, six are from Taiwan and two are from the Philippines. There was no further detail about who was missing and who had been rescued.
The coast guard has sent eight patrol boats to look for the missing men.
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.Support Us