The Ukrainian tugboat, Naftogaz-67, sank after colliding with a Chinese vessel in the South China Sea. Out of the 25 sailors on board, most of them Ukrainians, only seven were rescued.
The ship was brought to the surface on Sunday. Earlier attempts to pull the Naftogaz-67 tugboat to shallow waters had failed due to adverse weather conditions.
"The bodies of 14 Ukrainian sailors had been found on board the Naftogaz-67 as of 16:00 [13:00 GMT] on April 28," the Chernomorneftegaz press service said, adding that, "One sailor is still missing."
The Ukrainian vessel was last checked by inspectors in south China in October 2007, when six safety violations, including navigational, were detected. Oil leaks and power and support system failures were also noted.
The owner of the tugboat, Anatoliy Prisyazhnyuk, blamed the Chinese dry cargo ship for the fatal collision. The Chinese vessel suffered minor bow damage and remained afloat after the accident.