Probe continues into man’s death in St Lucia during dream sailing trip

Preparing for the off, Magnetic Attraction at the RNSYC marina in Lowestoft before Mr and Mrs Pratt set off on their voyage last summer. picture: SUPPLIED. Preparing for the off, Magnetic Attraction at the RNSYC marina in Lowestoft before Mr and Mrs Pratt set off on their voyage last summer. picture: SUPPLIED.

Mark Boggis mark.boggis@archant.co.uk
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
10:29 AM

Investigations were continuing in the Caribbean last night after a man died defending his wife from armed attackers.

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The couple's home in Warwickshire.The couple's home in Warwickshire.

Roger Pratt and his wife Margaret were more then six months into a dream round-the-world sailing trip, when tragedy struck last Friday night.

Mr and Mrs Pratt, who met sailing in Norfolk, planned to return to the county once their dream voyage was over.

Norfolk and Suffolk sailing community ‘stunned’ by ‘tragic’ death of British man in St Lucia

Margaret and Roger Pratt, pictured in July 2013, a few days into their voyage.Margaret and Roger Pratt, pictured in July 2013, a few days into their voyage.

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Dream voyage ends in tragedy with murder of Roger Pratt

Mr Pratt, 62, a retired engineer, was killed and his wife injured after three armed men climbed aboard their yacht, Magnetic Attraction.

The couple had planned to set sail for the next stage of their journey last Thursday – the day before the “brutal” attack – but it is understood they were prevented from leaving by a bureaucratic hold-up.

Last night, Mrs Pratt’s sister Jenny Riley, from Beccles, said she has spoken to Margaret, 60, by telephone and said she was recovering well.

Mrs Riley said: “Margaret is very strong and she’s very busy, there’s a lot to do; at the moment she is concentrating on that and that focus is helping her keep it together.”

Three men are still being detained in connection with the incident, while a post-mortem examination is due to be carried out.

The attack was condemned by Saint Lucian tourism minister Lorne Theophilus, who said that police were working to solve the case “speedily”.

He said: “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.”

Last night, the Lucian Peoples Movement said the Saint Lucian government should take a lot of blame.

They said: “The brutal murder of Mr Pratt, a British sailor who was allegedly denied clearance to leave Saint Lucia last Thursday, should not come as a surprise to anyone.”

Police said initial reports that Mr Pratt was shot dead were incorrect and that his cause of death would be formally determined during a post-mortem on Monday.

Mr and Mrs Pratt had lived in the hamlet of Moreton Paddox, near Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, but were planning to rekindle their Norfolk links after the voyage.

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