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Published on Monday, January 20, 2014

Three held over murder of British tourist in St Lucia

A British man has been murdered protecting his wife from armed robbers in St Lucia.

Roger Pratt, 62, tried to fight off three men who boarded their £200,000 yacht, Magnetic Attraction, at a marina in Vieux Fort, on the Caribbean island.

He was believed to have been beaten by the raiders and knifed several times on Friday night.

The men fled in their dinghy after apparently throwing his body overboard.

The couple had travelled to the commercial port of Vieux Fort in the south of the island after trying to get clearance from customs officials in Soufriere to leave St Lucia.

Roger and Margaret Pratt, from Warwickshire, had been on a year-long ocean trip around the world for Mrs Pratt's 60th birthday which they celebrated earlier this month.

Relatives said the couple had been preparing for the voyage for several years and were extremely safety conscious.

According to his wife Margaret's blog, Roger Pratt attended a piracy seminar in Europe before crossing the Atlantic.

They left Lowestoft, Suffolk, in July last year where they were members of the Royal  Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club. 

Police in Vieux Fort - the industrial port where the yacht was moored - have launched a murder probe.

A police spokesman said Mrs Pratt found her husband in the sea 'within minutes of the robbers fleeing' but he was pronounced dead at a local hospital, where Mrs Pratt was given treatment for cuts and bruises.

Police are questioning three men about the murder.

Lorne Theophilus, St Lucia's minister for Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries, said: "Again I reiterate that this is an active investigation with details still unfolding and so we urge caution on the part of all in how information is shared and communicated, particularly via social media.

"I wish to assure you that as a destination Saint Lucia remains relatively safe for nationals and visitors alike, and we are fully committed to seeing this investigation through to a final conclusion."

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