Friday, 24 January 2014

This week has been a very emotional week for us. Saturday morning, we were contacted by our good friend, Margaret, who told us that she and husband had been attacked on their boat the previous evening, and that her husband, Roger, had died. We were shocked by the news, and it still seems very surreal to us.

What happened?
At around 11 0’clock Friday evening Margaret and Roger’s boat was boarded and they suffered a violent attack. Margaret was severely beaten, and Roger was beaten unconscious and was later found dead in the water. It seems as though it was an intended robbery that went out of control, since the assailants appeared to leave the boat once Roger was in the water. Many theories have been presented in the press, e.g. that Roger was shot, but there were no weapons involved in the attack, though the violence of the attack was very severe.

Some media reports have also suggested that the St. Lucian customs wouldn't allow Margaret and Roger to leave the island, but this is not true either and is all due to a misunderstanding.

Emotionally exhausted
As soon as we heard the terrible news, we hurried down to Vieux Fort, where their boat was anchored, and we have since tried to support Margaret the best we can, though under these circumstances it’s difficult to feel that you do enough. Besides dealing with the fact that our friend has been killed and supporting Margaret the best we can, we have also been involved with the police, since we helped sail the boat from the anchorage, where the assault took place, to the police’s marine unit in Castries. The British press has confronted us both by email, phone and in person, because a picture of the four of us taken on Margaret’s 60th
birthday has been used in the news. We have also questioned our own travel plans:

Shall we continue?
Where do we feel safe?

It has been exhausting emotionally, and we hope that justice will be done.

A supporting cruising community
The cruising community in Rodney Bay, where we have been moored the last week, has been a huge comfort to us, and everyone has offered their assistance and wanted us to pass on their condolences to Margaret. A violent assault like the one our friends experienced is probably every cruiser’s worst fear, so when it happens, it affects everybody. Some cruisers have told us that they are trying to make their boat more secure and others have talked about going back home. However, as well as most of the cruisers, we have decided to continue, though Roger’s death and the violence of the attack have marked us immensely.

May Roger rest in peace.

Signe Storr
(Signe is a friend of Boatshed and contributes to our blogs)