updated 10/18/2006 4:18:17 PM ET 2006-10-18T20:18:17

Eight professional divers were feared to have drowned after a boat taking them to an underwater construction site collided with a cargo ship in Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay and sank, rescuers said Wednesday.

The Blue Coast boat and the Bahamas-flagged Roko collided shortly before midnight Tuesday in an area of the bay just off the city center. The divers were heading to work at a construction site for an underwater sewage pipeline.

Four people were rescued during the night but the remaining eight were thought to have died as they had probably remained trapped inside the capsized small boat.

Navy rescuers found the sunken boat at a depth of 37 yards at the bottom of the bay and were trying to look inside, a Navy spokesman said.

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