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Man shot onboard yacht in Bequia


Following the shooting of a British visitor aboard his yacht last weekend in Bequia, an official from the department of Grenadine Affairs is hoping that this is a “one off” occurrence, and not the start of a disturbing trend.{{more}}

On Sunday, at approximately 12:15 am, yachtsman Colin Thomas was shot in the right leg by one of four men who attempted to rob him.

Deputy Director of Grenadine Affairs Herman Belmar said: “This is a first for us. Somebody was hurt by the use of a firearm… it has gone to the next level. We really cannot condone this at all!”

Belmar acknowledged that a spate of yacht robberies that took place last year prompted tougher measures from the Coastguard and local police force – under the instruction of Minister Saboto Caesar.

“He [Caesar] came down and we got things organised. We got the coastguard mobilised, and we were doing regular patrols… We have been through a very rough patch…with problems on yachts, but with the assistance of the coastguard and the police force, we had that very much under control,” he explained.

“But all of a sudden there is this flare up. It’s not very good for us at all.”

Sixty-five-year-old yachtsman Thomas was taken to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital after the incident that took place aboard his yacht ‘Summer Breeze’, which was docked at Princess Margaret beach.

According to a source within the Criminal Investigation Department, Thomas’s injury is not life-threatening. To date, no suspects have been apprehended, but the investigation is on-going.

The source also said that Thomas, who has been a regular visitor to Bequia for over a decade, was surprised at the attack, as he has never encountered such violence on these shores before.

Belmar said as far as he can remember, there has never been this level of aggression exhibited during a robbery on-board a yacht.

“We’re hoping this thing will be brought under control again, and we would be able to bring these perpetrators to justice,” he said.

“It’s only by…letting the law deal with this situation that the public will begin to develop confidence in us again. I’m hoping that happens.”

Belmar further added that he is hoping to hold discussions with the police force and other concerned parties so that an incident like this one is not repeated in future.(JV)