A newly released video footage recorded the moment a 65-year-old passenger was pulled live out of water by rescuers onto the capsized hull of the passenger ship that sank in the Yangtze River on Monday night.

Three divers went 15 meters under water several times to search for passengers trapped inside the overturned ship. And they found the passenger near the ship's bow. After being rescued, the female passenger was immediately sent to hospital.

The Changjiang Water Resources Commission of the Ministry of Water Resources reduced the water discharge flow of the Three Gorges Reservoir three times on Tuesday morning, from 17,200 cubic meters down to 7,000 cubic meters per second, though the water level on the Yangtze River kept rising in recent days due to continuous rains.

The reduced flow is expected to show effect at the Jianli section of the Yangtze River on Tuesday evening.

The ship, which departed from the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing for Chongqing Municipality in southwest China, sank "within one or two minutes" after being caught in a cyclone, according to the ship's captain and chief engineer.

The accident occurred at 21:28 Monday in the Jianli (Hubei Province) section of the Yangtze,China's longest river, according to the Yangtze River navigation administration.

Nineteen of the 458 people on board the capsized ship had been rescued as of 3.10pm on Tuesday (2 June), according to the Maritime Search and Rescue Center.