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Masked men rob yacht in Chateaubelair Harbour

Masked men rob yacht in Chateaubelair Harbour


Four Germans aboard a sailing yacht had a sailor’s worst nightmare when masked men boarded their vessel, brandishing cutlasses and demanding money.{{more}}

The incident occurred last Thursday in the Chateaubelair harbour. Ursula Hosse, the lone female who was aboard the 18-metre steel ketch named Daisy, told SEARCHLIGHT that around 1:00 a.m., she heard a noise, and when she went to investigate, she saw one man on the boat and another coming up the ladder; they were carrying flambeaux.

Hosse said that the men demanded money and their friend Hans Pietzsch, who was visiting, handed over 400 Euros, about US $200 and some EC currency. Hosse further stated that after the attackers left, they tried to contact the police on the radio but they were unsuccessful. However, they made contact one and a half hours later by telephone.

Captain Hermann Engl received a chop wound on his right wrist, while the other passenger, Albrecht Keck, received chop wounds to his upper arm and palm of his right hand. The men were taken to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, but were released the same day.

The four victims were contacted by Minister of Tourism Glen Beache at the Chateaubelair police station; he expressed his regret at the incident and assured them that all would be done to bring the persons responsible to justice.

Chairman of the North Leeward Tourism Association Clem Derrick also visited and expressed his outrage, “This is a serious blow to an already fragile industry” he said. Derrick took the sailors to Beach Front Restaurant and Bar, where they were treated to free lunch and dinner and were met by area representative Dr Jerrol Thompson and community members who expressed their support by contributing money to give back to Mr Pietzsch.

Dr Thompson said that this type of event is very unfortunate and that the whole community of North Leeward is outraged and that he is hoping in the up coming weeks and months to have meetings throughout the community to sensitize residents about the importance of the yachting industry. “I am really proud of the residents who came out and rallied support for the yachting folks,” he further stated.

Captain Engl told SEARCHLIGHT that he had visited St Vincent and the Grenadines on two previous occasions and found it to be a very beautiful place, but right now he is uncertain about future visits.

Armed members of the SVG police force held vigil on the Chateaubelair wharf from Thursday evening until Friday morning when the yacht departed.

The initial investigation was conducted by Detective WPC 531 Daize and supervised by ASP Horrace Williams, but was taken over by the Serious Crimes Unit. Some young men from the Fitzhughes area were taken up. However, they were subsequently released; the investigation is ongoing.