12 Aug 2013

Four men jump off Taiwan trawler near Tahiti

2:58 pm on 12 August 2013

Four Vietnamese fishermen say they jumped off their Taiwanese trawler near French Polynesia's main island Tahiti because they were badly treated and abused at sea.

The four, who don't know how to swim, were rescued by a tug about 800 metres off the Papeete port entrance after jumping off the Taiwanese vessel, Hsieh Ta, as it was docking with another Taiwanese trawler.

Speaking through a translator, they claim to have worked 18 hours a day and every day for two years, with all their pay being withheld for accommodation and transport costs.

Showing scars, they say they were often beaten.

The AFP news agency says arrangements are being made to return the men to Vietnam.