FV Tiro II

Search for fishermen missing near Fiji called off

Three crew members were accounted for when they were picked up by a Fijian Navy patrol shortly after the tuna longliner FV Tiro II sank on 21 May.

They were questioned and then released by police earlier this week.

A spokesperson for the Fiji Navy said the search covered an area of almost 8000 square kilometres.

The decision to suspend the operations was not taken lightly.

Earlier Captain Humphrey Tawake told Fiji media the alleged murder took place following a "heated argument" between two Fijian crew members.


Fiji police release crew members of the ill-fated FV Tiro II

Five other crew, who reportedly jumped overboard Monday last week, remain missing.

Late on Thursday last week a search and rescue team involving the Fiji Navy, the New Zealand Air Force and LifeFlight Fiji located one of the survivors who was onboard a life raft.

The other two survivors had remained onboard the FV Tiro II and were picked up early on Friday morning by a partner fishing vessel, as the boat was sinking.

The three crew had been taken into custody, amid an investigation into an alleged murder on the vessel.