The 16 meter long fishing vessel Jubilee sank off the coast of Canterbury, New Zealand.
The three-man crew had contacted authorities that the vessel was in trouble and the crew was going to abandon ship into the vessel’s life raft.
A search and rescue operation was launched with two Coast Guard vessels, three commercial and several aircraft. Search efforts were able to find the sunken Jubilee on the seabed in 40 meters of water roughly 20 kilometers off the coast.
Searchers also found the Jubilee’s life raft, but it was empty. Search for the three missing crewmen was still going on.
The cause of the sinking was not known, but reports state there was bad weather in the area with large waves and strong winds reaching up to 70 km/h.
Authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.
The fishing trawler Jubilee was based at Lyttelton Port. It is owned by Cressy Fishing and operated by Ocean Fisheries Ltd.
The boat was only seven years old, launched on January 30, 2008 by Stark Bros.
At the time, the boat was lauded as top-of-the-range and was believed to be the first commercial vessel in New Zealand to run on 100 percent bio-diesel.