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Master Mariner
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Once again violence sends terror through the cruiser's websites;
Husband gunned down as he defends his wife from yacht robbers in St Lucia: Couple attacked during year-long sailing trip to celebrate her 60th birthday | Mail Online
Very early and sketchy information at this time, but as we are in St. Lucia right now, it will be interesting to see how this government handles yet another horrific attack on yachties, in the Windward Islands..
Dozens on the various island cruiser's net websites are vowing never to go, or return to, St. Lucia. Already yacht traffic appears to be at less than 1/2 of last year, so this may be a death knell for many small island businesses that rely on the yachts for their livelihood.
I suppose this will create some long sailing trips, as so many were already afraid to visit SV&G, and now St. Lucia, on their way to Grenada.
Our condolences go out to Margaret Pratt and her family.
 
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More sad news from such an otherwise wonderful place in the world..
 

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I was in St. Lucia five years ago for a Diving/Hyperbaric Medicine seminar. I never felt safe anywhere outside the hotel and I would never go back. The disconnect between abject poverty in the local population and superfluous wealth of cruisers and tourists was just too striking. I just felt like a target all the time and I am not an inexperienced traveler.
 

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Forced to stay an extra day and...



This saddens me... not sure if Innocent, is innocent
But we should presume him innocent until found otherwise, unless you have new info... so maybe crass humour is more witless than witty, okay? The good guys took out one of the bad guys- Kudos to Mr. Innocent's side.

RIP, Mr. Pratt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
This is absolutely tragic but will continue :( The average income in St Lucia is about 6k per year. Poor criminals see rich yachts as easy targets.
OK, everybody, let's just get a few things straight here.
St Lucia is not the good old USA. 6k income, in a country where one doesn't pay income or property taxes, where medical care is free, where one doesn't own or need a vehicle (excellent and CHEAP public transportation; less that a US dollar from Rodney Bay to Castries), where fruit grows on the trees in one's yard, and food is very, very cheap (we got skinless, boneless chicken breasts last time we were in Vieux Fort for EC$5.00 a KILO; that's US$0.93 a pound!), is certainly NOT poverty level.
As we understand it at this time, they were not "Forced to stay an extra day and..." but the customs officer in Soufriere did not come to work (a family emergency or he was sick, etc. we don't know yet??) so they continued on to Vieux Fort hoping to check out there, possibly arriving too late to checkout?
The weather has been pretty calm, so it's also a possibility that these fellows were in fact smugglers from another island who thought they'd try their hand at robbery, again, we don't know yet.
As for being afraid to leave your hotel room in St. Lucia, this is not an inner city US city. The local population is extremely friendly and nonthreatening. Everybody says good day or good afternoon and is helpful and few of them, if any (we've never encountered any unfriendly islanders here) dislike visitors, whether on yachts, cruise ships or are staying at the many great hotel/resorts on the island. We frequently use local transport and travel to "the big city", Castries, with absolutely no thought that we might be in danger.
We should not condemn a whole island for an incident which is still very early in the investigative stages.
I've been coming to St Lucia since the late 70's and never heard of anything like this happening on this island. We love it here and this will not deter our returning. Just like the incident in Union Island, it is an isolated incident, unlikely to be repeated. St. Lucia relies almost entirely on tourism and the perpetrators will be caught and punished, without a doubt. Cross it off your itinerary if you wish, but you will be missing one of the friendliest and most interesting islands anywhere in the world; your loss.
BBC update; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25797968
 

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Tragic.
 

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But we should presume him innocent until found otherwise, unless you have new info... so maybe crass humour is more witless than witty, okay? The good guys took out one of the bad guys- Kudos to Mr. Innocent's side.

RIP, Mr. Pratt.
Yes.. it is sad.

Still find the name ironic, especially since they had planned to leave a day earlier. Which (and you are right) doesn't indite Innocent
 

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What a useless loss. I hate it for his wife. What a horrible end to a dream cruise.

But, you can't pretend there aren't bad people out there that you will encounter, the same as hurricanes or a bad storm. All you can do is have a plan to deal with either one.

The only plan that is no good is to just hope neither one happens.
 

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Wow Capta, this is so interesting, you should go back to all your posts on voyaging on 500 a month you paint a much different picture. At least somebody finally agrees that 6000 per year is more that enough to live on quite luxuriously. As far as this tragedy is concerned it just ******* sucks regardless of where it happened:(
 

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Murder is murder... it doesn't matter if it happens on land while at home or on vacation or while out cruising. It is a tragedy! You just don't expect to have it happen to you or anyone you know especially in our community.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wow Capta, this is so interesting, you should go back to all your posts on voyaging on 500 a month you paint a much different picture. At least somebody finally agrees that 6000 per year is more that enough to live on quite luxuriously. As far as this tragedy is concerned it just ******* sucks regardless of where it happened:(
OK, another apples and oranges argument.
Did I actually say any West Indians live "luxuriously" on 6k a year? I just said they were not living in poverty.
I don't know too many residents, who live ashore in St. Lucia, that have sails, rigging, engines, dinghies or the myriad of other items one has on a cruising yacht to maintain and repair, do you? They certainly don't have to fork out the EC$70.00 or so a month to be there, nor do they need anchors, chain or dinghies for getting from the boat to the cheap transportation ashore.
Though chicken may be cheap in Vieux Fort, it certainly isn't quite as cheap in Rodney Bay, and spending a whole day on a bus, no matter how inexpensive, to get from Rodney Bay to Vieux Fort and back, to buy groceries, doesn't sound like fun to me (take a quick peek at a map it's a very long trip on some pretty poor roads). I also don't think the local residents are going to appreciate my tromping through their property and taking their fruit off their trees and veges from their gardens.
I do not eat like the West Indians often, as their meals are generally high caloric and fat filled. I enjoy things like mayonnaise and ice cream (EC$20.00 for a cup each for my girl and I, just yesterday).
Your idea of cruising seems more like existing, rather than living, to me, and woe be you if you actually have a serious problem with your boat you can't afford to fix. Don't forget, it was here in St. Lucia where the coffee you love to drink so much, while everyone else is filling their cruising kitty, was astronomically expensive.
 

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While I won't throw the entire nation/culture in the trash heap, the fact remains that it is more dangerous than more civilized parts of the planet. I do not recall ever hearing of an occupied boarding, let alone a murder aboard on the New England coastline. Sure, I've heard of things being stolen, but not this kind of violence. When you travel to third world countries, you have to be more careful and conscious. It certainly doesn't mean they are badlands.

I feel terrible for this family and particularly his wife. The perpetrators should get some good biblical punishment. Eye for an eye and made an example of in front of all others.
 
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