Santiago: Three Chinese citizens died after jumping into the sea from a fishing boat in the Strait of Magellan in an apparent attempt to reach the Chilean coast and seek asylum.
A fourth member of the boat`s crew is still missing.
The incident was confirmed by Chilean navy Lt Cmdr Milidrag Delic, who said they were able to recover the bodies of three men from the Hong-Da 2, currently anchored near the strait.
Delci said he was notified around 8 am Sunday when officers of the Hong-Da 2 said that the four men were no longer on board and some survival equipment such as life jackets were missing.
They concluded that the Chinese fishermen had jumped in the sea in order to swim to the Chilean coast.
"That morning the dead bodies of three crew members were found. A fourth crew member is still missing, so the search continues," Delic said.
Radio Bio Bio, which identified the crew members as Wang Hao, Yin Xingqi, Yang Cunbao and Sun Changman, said that the water`s freezing temperature was a key factor in their deaths.