Three people are being held by police in the Caribbean island of St Lucia after a British man was killed while defending his wife on a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Roger Pratt, 62, was killed on board the couple’s yacht in the town of Vieux Fort on Friday night, according to police. His wife, Margaret, 60, was treated for injuries sustained in the attack, which took place while the Warwickshire couple were on a round-the-world trip.
It emerged on Sunday that Mr Pratt had attended a seminar on handling piracy. Mrs Pratt wrote in her blog on 13 November: “Today, Roger went to a session on piracy and found it interesting in terms of practical tips. The must-have accessories are motion sensors linked to an app of a loud barking dog to deter intruders. It makes sense.”
A St Lucian police spokesman said Mr Pratt died trying to defend his wife from the attackers, but that there was no evidence he was shot.
“Nobody has been arrested yet but there are some guys in custody,” he said. “The investigators are very busy looking at what happened.”
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, but their plan to leave had been thwarted by officials.
Writing on her blog in the hours before the attack, Mrs Pratt said: “On Thursday morning the plan was to clear out from Soufriere, then to travel south and use up the 72 hours before we had to be away.
“But bureaucracy intervened. HM Customs and Excise in Soufriere told us that exit had to happen within 24 hours of clearing out; and that anyway, we couldn't clear out of Soufriere that day because the Immigration Officer hadn't come to work(!!)”
Their boat was moored off the Vieux Fort coast where they had been staying while celebrating Mrs Pratt's 60th birthday.
Writing on her LinkedIn profile before she left, Mrs Pratt said: “Off travelling! The plan is to be in the Caribbean for my 60th birthday in January 2014... all a bit of a leap into the unknown. Please stay in touch - I plan to be an assiduous correspondent!”
The couple lived in the village of Moreton Morrell before embarking on their adventure.
St Lucian tourism minister Lorne Theophilus said: “It is with much regret that I and other industry partners have learnt of the unfortunate incident which has resulted in the loss of life of a visitor to our shores.
“At this time we extend our sincerest condolences to the family of British national Roger Pratt. To his wife, who also sustained injuries as a result of the attack off the Vieux Fort coast, we extend our deepest sympathies. Our prayers are with her for a speedy recovery.
“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 briefed 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.”