Eight people were confirmed dead Wednesday after a cargo ship and a fishing boat collided near the southern Chinese island of Hainan a week earlier, state media reported.

The SITC Danang container ship, which sails under a Panamanian flag, hit a fishing vessel shortly after midnight on April 3, Xinhua news agency reported.

The impact caused the fishing vessel to sink, and eight people aboard fell into the water.

The bodies of all eight missing had been recovered by Wednesday afternoon and the rescue operation -- which had involved several ships and aircraft -- ended.

An image published by the state broadcaster CCTV last week showed a bright orange emergency life raft floating on the area of sea where the collision happened, though no people were visible.

The collision occurred about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the town of Yinggehai on the far southwest coast of Hainan, according to the report.

The Panamanian container ship is docked at Sanya port, Hainan, and is under investigation over the accident.