The bodies of eight divers, six of them Indians, were recovered from the waters of the Persian Gulf on Sunday, as hopes faded for the remaining five crew members, three days after their vessel sank.

The Iranian rescue team looking for the missing crew members had hoped to find some of the divers alive believing they had some supply of oxygen.

But their efforts were hit by tragedy as they first found the bodies of six Indians in their diving chamber and later recovered two more bodies floating in water, IRNA reported.

The Director-General of the Port and Maritime Organisation of Bushehr province, Mohammad Rastad said the bodies of six Indian divers have been handed over to relevant authorities.

Search is still on for the remaining five crew members of the Koosha-1 ship that sunk in stormy seas on Thursday with 73 people onboard. The other 60 had been rescued earlier.

Among the 13 crew members onboard the ship that went missing, seven were Indians, one was Ukrainian and five were Iranians.

“Rescue team could find the bodies of six Indian divers Sunday at 5 confined in oxygen room of the ship (that) sank Thursday,” Mr. Rastad was quoted as saying earlier.

The search went on for the entire night following which the rescuers found the bodies this morning, at a depth of 72 metres.

The divers were installing an underwater oil pipeline and were inside a pressurised diving chamber when their ship sank in stormy seas, trapping the with limited oxygen supply.

The ship left the offshore oil rigs in the Persian Gulf and was heading towards Iran’s southern Assaloyeh Port when it suddenly sank 15 miles away from Assaloyeh.

Some reports attributed a cargo overload for the sinking of the ship.