Argentina's navy says it used gunfire to sink a boat flying the Chinese flag that was fishing illegally in national waters.

The navy statement says the boat was intercepted Monday off the coast of Puerto Madryn, about 907 miles (1,460 kilometers) south of Buenos Aires.

The statement released Tuesday says the boat did not heed warning calls and instead tried to ram an Argentine naval vessel. Sailors then shot holes in different parts of the fishing boat, causing it to sink.

All four people on board were rescued and arrested. They are being held and will go before a federal judge in southern Chubut province.

The statement says it has been 15 years since the navy last sank an illegal foreign vessel in Argentina's waters.