Afternoon update: Norfolk and Suffolk sailing community ‘stunned’ by ‘tragic’ death of British man in St Lucia
17:30 20 January 2014
The Norfolk and Suffolk sailing community have paid tribute to a “respected” sailor, who was killed on a dream round-the-world trip as he tried to protect his wife from attackers on the Caribbean island of St Lucia.
In Lowestoft, the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht club flag was flying at half mast today after the death of club member Roger Pratt.
Mr Pratt and his wife Margaret had been members of the club for “several years”, according to the RNSYC commodore, Anthony Knights, who said: “The club was stunned this morning to hear of the tragic death of member Roger Pratt aboard his yacht the Magnetic Attraction in the Caribbean.
“The commodore of the club (Anthony Knights), officers and members send their sincere condolences to Mrs Pratt (Margaret) and all of the family at this time.”
The boat had been moored at the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht club for more than a year when they left Lowestoft last July for their dream round-the-world sailing trip, navigating the English coastline before heading to the Algarve and on to the Caribbean.
The couple are well-known within the sailing community in East Anglia, having sailed locally for many years, and Mrs Pratt came from Norfolk.
RNSYC commodore Mr Knights said that some of the crew who joined the Pratts on sailing some of the way to the Caribbean were members of the yacht club. Mr Knights said: “Roger was a good and respected sailor.”
At least two people are still being held by police in the Caribbean after 62-year-old Mr Pratt, from Warwickshire, was killed and his wife injured following an attack on a boat moored off the Vieux Fort coast.
Police in St Lucia said investigations were continuing and the Foreign Office has confirmed that a British national has been killed on the Caribbean island.
The couple had been on a dream holiday and had been staying on the Vieux Fort coast as part of a round-the-world voyage to celebrate Mrs Pratt’s 60th birthday.
A St Lucian police spokesman confirmed Mr Pratt died trying to defend his wife from attackers, but said there was no evidence the man was shot.
The couple lived in the village of Moreton Morrell before embarking on their adventure. According to a blog highlighting their holiday, it appears that the couple left Lowestoft on July 7 last year and headed for Breskens in the Netherlands.