A suspected people-smuggling boat carrying 19 people capsized off the Chinese territory of Macau on Friday, leaving 15 people missing, the Macau government and Chinese state media said.

Those aboard included the captain, two crew members and 16 suspected illegal immigrants, China's official Xinhua News Agency said. Four people swam to safety, all of whom were from mainland China, Xinhua said.

The Macau government's information bureau said in a statement that the marine authorities had been notified that a ship had sunk at 5:50 a.m. local time. It said the boat had been carrying more than 10 people, including people suspected of illegally entering Macau.

Marine authorities dragged the vessel back to the harbor, and were searching for the missing.