A search of English Bay continues today as Vancouver police look for any sign of two Bangladeshi seamen missing from a cargo ship.

The VPD marine squad is patrolling the area after the men vanished sometime Sunday night -- just hours after their huge freighter moored about a kilometre off the Vancouver shore.

"They either made it ashore or they're going to float to the surface," said Lt.-Cmdr. Gerry Pash of Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt. "There's no possibility of finding somebody alive in the water now."

The body of a third man was discovered Monday morning in the frigid shallow waters off Spanish Banks, on the southern end of English Bay.

Police say the case has been turned over to the missing persons unit and it's believed the trio used a rope to lower themselves into the water -- not realizing it was a frigid 10 degrees and they faced a difficult swim to shore.

Monday, a Coast Guard cutter, a hovercraft, and a vessel from the Vancouver Police Department searched the bay, which hugs Vancouver, West Vancouver and North Vancouver.

Small private and commercial aircraft were also involved in the search.

The cargo ship, Ginga Falcon, a Panamanian-registered bulk carrier, anchored Sunday night in English Bay after arriving that evening from San Francisco, Pash said.

The three men didn't show up for duty early Monday.

They were reported missing about 90 minutes later after the ship's crew did its own search of the vessel.

The search for the men was called off after six hours and handed off to police and border services officials.

"It's been a very tight search with a lot of resources there," Pash said.

"After six or seven hours the possibility of surviving in 12-degree water is pretty reduced," he added.

Pash said the crew members are all Bangladeshi men and range in age from 22 to 25.

The vessel is owned by Unix Lines.

Spokesman Darrell Wilson said the company will cooperate fully with Canadian authorities in any investigation into the death disappearances.

"Right now, our biggest concern is holding out hope that the remaining crew members cane be found," he said.

The ship is a tanker and has a crew of between 20 and 30 people, Wilson said.

Unix Line operates 33 cargo ships internationally.