Boat with New Zealand ties reportedly at center of Fiji beheading drama
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The Tiro II ran aground on North Rock. Mt Maunganui.
The boat at the center of an alleged beheading near Fiji has links to a New Zealand company.
The TIRO II is listed as owned by Nelson-based Ocean Vision Ltd on the Department of Primary Industries website, and is located near Fiji on the International Ship Tracking website. The owners and shareholders of the company are listed at Nathan and Michelle Stroud, of Nelson.
Michelle Stroud was contacted on Saturday and asked if she owns the boat. She said “that is incorrect” then replied “no comment” before hanging up.
Michelle Stroud is listed as a director and Nathan Stroud is listed as a sole shareholder. The couple commented, via their lawyer on Sunday, that the boat was neither owned nor operated by Ocean Vision Limited.
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The tuna longliner and her crew have been at the center of a major search operation in Fijian waters since six men abandoned the vessel after the alleged beheading.
A man was found in a life raft and two of the boat’s crew were turned over to police.
Five of the six men who jumped overboard are still missing.
In a statement sent by Nathan and Michelle Stroud, via their attorney, the couple said the FV Tiro II was not and was not owned by Ocean Vision Limited, and Ocean Vision is no longer the operator. of the ship.
“Although the vessel is listed on an MPI food safety website, Ocean Vision is listed as the operator, not the owner.
“We also note that the FishServe website briefly shows that the vessel is registered with Ocean Vision Ltd as an operator in 2019, that registration ceased in May 2019. The vessel was sold in December 2019 by the owner of then, Ocean Venture Limited. ”
In August 2018, the TIRO II also made headlines when it ran aground near Mount Maunganui while being operated on by a crew member, who was believed to have woken up her sleeping skipper but went to bed. asleep himself.
Ocean Venture pleaded guilty to operating a vessel without qualified personnel and was fined $ 10,000. The crew member and the captain received lower fines.
Republic of Fiji Naval Commander Captain Humphrey Tawake told the Fiji Times it is alleged that a Fijian national beheaded a second Fijian national “following a heated argument” while the tuna vessel was at sea.
Details of what happened to the ship, which was reportedly under the Fijian flag and carrying eight men, is said to be under police investigation in Fiji.
Acting Police Commissioner Rusiate Tudravu has confirmed that police are investigating the murder allegations. Six crew members jumped overboard on Monday, apparently to escape the alleged violent incident.
The Fijian Navy was alerted to the incident on Wednesday, but no detailed information on the location of the ship when the men jumped. One was found by an NZ Air Force plane and the Republic of Fiji Navy ship Kikau floating in a life raft on Thursday.
The two men found on board the TIRO II were rescued by another fishing boat on Friday morning.
The search for the missing crew members continues, but their chances of survival are considered slim.