Search operations continued for the 11 Indian crew members who went missing after a cargo ship sank in the Pacific ocean off the Japan coast.

At least 15 other Indians were rescued after the ship – Emerald Star – sank at around 2 am local time around 600 km south of Ishigaki island of Okinawa prefecture.

He also listed out the names of those rescued: Suresh Kumar, Alang Ram, Karuppiah Rangasamy, Subash Lourdusamy, Bosun Mohammad Irfan Mansuri, Sathishi, Ram Kailash, Lai Renjith, Kigin, Jegal Sen Vendran, Cheole, Ramay, Karthikayan and two others both named Parash.

The Japanese coast guard said that it sent two patrol boats and three planes at the site for search and rescue, but a typhoon was making the operation hard. He said it was standard procedure for the Philippines to help out in such a case.

Photos taken by a Japanese coast guard aircraft showed a damaged lifeboat believed to be from the sunken ship floating in choppy waters, along with traces of an oil leak.

The coast guard said the cause of the accident was not known.