September 20 2014 Latest news:
By MARK BOGGIS
Monday, January 20, 2014
From Lowestoft to St Lucia – a trip sailing across the Atlantic and exploring the Caribbean was “Roger’s dream,” according to his Suffolk sister-in-law, Jenny Riley.
But this dream journey turned into a nightmare last Friday – when Margaret and Roger Pratt were brutally attacked by three robbers aboard their 45ft steel-hulled yacht, Magnetic Attraction, which was moored off the Vieux Fort coast.
Mrs Pratt was “badly beaten” and she then suffered the trauma of finding her husband’s body “floating in the nearby waters,” according to spokesman for the Royal Saint Lucia police force.
The couple, who had met sailing in Norfolk, were planning to return to the county after fulfilling their dream.
After leaving the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club in Lowestoft at 5pm on July 7 last year, their trip-of-a-lifetime took in Breskens, in the Netherlands, Ria de Ares, Muros and Ayemonte in Spain, Viana do Castelo, Cascals and Vilamoura in Portugal and Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.
Here Mr and Mrs Pratt met up with two other family members, and sailed the 3.065-mile, 23-day journey across the Atlantic Ocean in December, arriving in Martinique in time for Christmas – and meeting up with friends and Mrs Riley.
It is understood the couple were planning to leave St Lucia for the next step of their journey, but they were delayed by local customs officials. According to Mrs Pratt’s blog, which showcased their dream voyage, “bureaucracy intervened” and they had to wait to leave the island until after the weekend (just gone).
Investigations into Mr Pratt’s death are continuing today in St Lucia. The results of a post-mortem examination to establish his death are awaited.
Mrs Pratt has been released from hospital, and she spoke with her sister Mrs Riley last night. It is understood that Margaret is working closely with investigators, as three men remain in custody in connection with the attack.