A large team of Fiji police officers are searching for the ethnic Indian sisters who were believed to have been kidnapped at sea by a group of indigenous Fijian men last Sunday.
The teenagers, from a farming family near Rakiraki, are Ashika Sherin Lata, aged 19, Renuka Roshni Lata, aged 18 and Radhika Roshni Lata, aged 17.
One of their cousins, Mohini Lata, says they went on a picnic in a dinghy with a 42-year-old neighbour and were last seen in open waters off Malake Island near Rakiraki.
"Their father had given him permission to take them to have a picnic, but nobody knows what happened in the middle of the sea."
She says their mother, Maureen Lata, who made a plea for their safe return on Fiji TV, collapsed and was hospitalised yesterday.
The police say the neighbour, who was found alone in the boat, says he was knocked unconscious by the men during the alleged attack.