Argentine coast guard sinks Chinese fishing boat

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - Argentina's coast guard sank a Chinese fishing boat that attacked when authorities tried to stop it for illegal fishing in the South Atlantic, officials said on Tuesday.

The boat's crew were all rescued alive, police said in a statement.

"The offending vessel carried out manoeuvres to collide with the coast guard patrol, putting at risk not only its own crew's lives but also those of coast guard personnel. Thus the order was given to fire on different sections of the vessel, damaging it," the statement said.

The boat's captain was due to be handed over to police and appear before a judge.

A video posted on the coast guard's website showed the boat, the Lu Yan Yuan Yu 010, slowly listing in the open sea after coming under fire.

The boat was detected Monday off Puerto Madryn, 1,300km south of Buenos Aires.

It tried to flee into international waters when the coast guard ordered it to stop, then repeatedly manoeuvred to collide with the patrol ship, authorities said.

"The captain did not stop the engines until the boat started to sink," they said.

Illegal fishing is a frequent problem in the waters of the South Atlantic, often involving Chinese or Russian vessels.