MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ A Philippine fishing boat with 36 crew members aboard foundered in rough waters in the South China Sea early today, the coast guard said.

The Jonathan 10 sank near the Paracel Islands, about 480 miles northwest of Manila.

The fate of the crew was not known. Until radio communications with the vessel were lost, they reported that they were clinging to the pilothouse.

An air force helicopter sent to the area was forced to turn back because of poor weather, Esparagoza said.