All 32 people onboard a fishing boat hit by waves in Nansha waters were rescued by 1 pm Wednesday, said the Hainan Provincial Emergency Management Department.

The No116 South China Sea rescue ships from the South China Sea Rescue Bureau were sent from Yongxing Island in Xisha to the scene.

The Sansha Maritime Bureau issued a navigation warning and asked passing ships to participate in the rescue, with COSCO Maritime Group merchant ships sailing in the South China Sea joining the rescue work.

Local garrisons sent warships and aircraft to help, and a fixed-wing rescue aircraft from Hong Kong rushed to the scene, according to a CCTV report.

CCTV reported earlier today that a Hainan Qionghai fishing boat carrying more than 30 people lost connection after sending an alarm for rescue at about 6 am in Nansha waters, quoting provincial emergency authorities sources.

Its signal on the Beidou system was lost, suggesting that the boat had sunk, said the emergency department. The boat got into trouble on a return voyage met by strong winds and waves.

Joint rescue work was launched immediately by the Hainan Provincial Emergency Management Department and Hainan Maritime.