Fourteen survivors were rescued Monday and two bodies were pulled from the sea.
Zhang Jie, a spokesman for the Hainan Maritime Affairs Bureau, told Xinhua rescuers were still searching for possible survivors Tuesday.
The boats that sank when caught in Typhoon Wutip were from Guangdong province in southern China.
Wutip, the 21st typhoon of the season, was expected to make landfall on Vietnam's central coast Tuesday, Xinhua said.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]