Sunday, January 19, 2014

St. Lucia: British Boater, 62, Murdered While Defending his Wife Aboard Their Yacht at Vieux Fort

According to The Independent and The Associated Press, at least two suspects are being held by St. Lucian police in connection with the murder of a British yachtsman Roger Pratt, 62, who was killed while defending his wife from an assailant on an around-the-world yachting adventure.

According to police, suspects have been detained, but not formally arrested, although how Mr. Pratt was killed is unknown.

Mrs. Pratt's is being treated in a local hospital as police continue with their investigation. 

The couple had sailed to St Lucia from the UK via the Algarve and had planned to continue their round-the-world voyage just hours before the attack. 

COMMENT: The Pratts lived in the village of Moreton Morrell before embarking on their adventure.

According to the US Department of State, roughly 50 homicides were reported in 2011, up from 48 murders in 2010, which is abnormal for any Caribbean island-state, particularly one having a  population of only 174,000 people.

The media did not indicate the length of the Pratts' yacht or whether it was under sail or power, but considering their plan was to travel around the world, it must have been at least 35 to 45 feet in length, well worth the risk of the assailants engaging in an illegal boarding.

As most of our readers know, my May 2008 book entitled "Staying Safe Abroad: Traveling, Working and Living in a Post-9/11 World," has a chapter entitled"Maritime Piracy," which offers yachters a number of  efficient solutions in keeping pirates and unwelcome boarders off their vessels.   

Our readers should also know that in June 2014 a complete updated e-book (Kindle, iPad and Nook) of "Staying Safe Abroad: Traveling, Working and Living in a Post-9/11 World 2014" will be released, including an expanded version of the chapter entitled "Maritime Piracy."