Search and rescue officials say four crew members are safe after their fishing vessel capsized and sank northeast of St. John's Wednesday.

The crew of the 50-foot Ocean Negotiator first reported trouble at 9:49 a.m., saying they had stalled and were taking on water. That was followed by a mayday nine minutes later.

The crew then donned their survival suits and abandoned ship into a liferaft.

A military Cormorant helicopter from Gander was sent to the scene. But by the time it reached the area, the crew had been rescued by the Jennifer Tyler, another vessel in the area at the time.

The Cormorant continued to the scene, and search and rescue technicians were lowered to the Tyler to check on the condition of the rescued crew.

Officials confirmed the Ocean Negotiator sank shortly before 3 p.m., with only a small piece of the ship's bow and some debris visible. 

There's no word on what caused the vessel to go down.

A spokeswoman for the coast guard said the crew are fine, mainly because they followed emergency procedures "by the book."