missing crew members

Mystery still surrounds circumstances of alleged beheading on ship

Fijian police are still questioning members of the crew rescued in high seas over the weekend and say they won't release any details regarding the circumstances or confirm the beheading of a crew member.

The Chinese-owned, Fiji-flagged tuna longliner FV TIRO II was found on Wednesday by a New Zealand Air Force Orion about 90 nautical miles west of Fiji, with two crew members still on board.

The Fijian navy is still searching for five crew members believed to have jumped overboard, but rough weather is understood to be hampering there efforts.

Rough seas hamper search for five fishing boat crew members

One other person from the Chinese-owned Fiji-flagged fishing vessel Tiro Two made it to a lifeboat and two others were found on another vessel.

They have all been interviewed by the police.

The Fiji Times newspaper reports that the chances of survival for the men who leapt into the water without any lifesaving equipment last Monday have been greatly reduced.

But Fiji Navy commander Captain Humphrey Tawake said the authorities remain optimistic.