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British yachtsman murdered in St Lucia
Published on January 20, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Caribbean News Now contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia -- A visiting British yachtsman was murdered and his wife injured during an attack on Friday night on their boat moored off Vieux-Fort in Saint Lucia.

Roger Pratt
The dead man has been identified as 62-year-old Roger Pratt. Initial media reports indicated that Pratt was shot but this has since been refuted by local police, saying the cause of has not yet been established. A post-mortem examination is due to take place on Monday.

Police also denied in a press statement that any of the three suspects detained in connection with the incident was shot and killed.

Tourism Minister Lorne Theophilus also released a statement on the murder, expressing condolences to the family of the victims while assuring that, “as a destination Saint Lucia remains relatively safe for nationals and visitors alike” and that local law enforcement is working to perpetrators to justice “speedily”.

“This is an active investigation and law enforcement is leading the charge in an attempt to bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice speedily. Law enforcement officials have brief myself and other senior tourism officials on aspects of the case although I am not at liberty to share some of those details with you at this time,” Theophilus said.

He reiterated that this is an active investigation with details still unfolding and urged caution in how information is shared and communicated, particularly via social media.

The British couple was reportedly on a round-the-world trip and had been celebrating Mrs Pratt's 60th birthday when the attack took place.

The Pratts’ departure from Saint Lucia had reportedly been delayed for several days as a result of being denied clearance to leave by local immigration officials.

Questions are now being asked as to the reasons for the delay in processing the Pratts’ departure clearance.
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Island Watcher:

Go read the skippers log if you want to know the truth.

The customs duty officer didn't report to work, so typical of the Caribbean mentality. Just like after a carnival event, me head hurt no can work today.

Just why is such a sloppy work ethic tolerated??

Because no one knows a darn think about customer service. After all you are in the business to provide a service. Watch what happens to the Caribbean when Cuba opens her borders to investors and they leave the communist way of government. The Caribbean as we know it will dry up from lack of tourist visits, Cuba will be the place to go, just watch.

Bob Petersen`:

This brings to mind the murder of Carl Schuster at Cumberland Bay on St. Vincent in the early 1970's. Carl was a member of the New York Yacht Club and owner of the very popular, and still operating, "The Nutmeg" on the Carenage in Grenada. I was Manager of Grenada Yacht Services and maintained Carl's Knutsen 35, "Zig Zag", and his new 40 odd footer, also, "Zig Zag". So I knew both him and his boats very well.

This happened shortly after I moved back to the States in 1971, so got the story second hand, but as I understand it, Carl anchored in Cumberland Bay, as most of us did at one time or another. During the night a couple locals came on board, armed with cutlasses, and chopped him up, stole a few things, and disappeared. I seem to remember that they were found and presumably dealt with.

During my years in Grenada things of that nature were almost never heard of. By the time we left, though things began to happen, that encouraged me to get out. For example, we finally hired a former local policeman to provide security on our docks. One day a former employee had a grudge against him and shot the security guard through the heart with an underwater speargun. We had a small daughter at that time, so I sold my share of ownership and got out.


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The Caribbean Writer 2014

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