Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace on Monday condemned the murder of a German man and injury of another on board a yacht at anchored at Wallilabou Friday, saying he was “very disturbed” by the development
Police on Monday said that they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Martin Griff, a 49-year-old accountant of Germany, which occurred at Wallilabou Bay during the pre-dawn hours of Friday.
Reports are that the deceased was on a yacht when unknown assailants attacked him. He sustained a gunshot wound to his throat and succumbed to the injuries, police said.
Police are also investigating the attempted murder of Reinhold Zeller, a 63-year-old sea captain, also of Germany, which occurred during the same incident at Wallilabou Bay.
Zeller sustained a gunshot wound to his left shoulder after unknown assailants attacked him on the yacht, police say.
Eustace, speaking on his weekly radio programme, noted that yatchies are in contact with each other around the world.
“And when you see a yatchie is killed like this, … the news flies very fast,” he said.
“And this is going to be a blow for us, to have another person killed on a yacht in our waters. I was very disturbed when I heard about the killing and I say that is another nail in our economic coffin, if it continues to be like this.
“This just can’t work; just can’t work. It makes it even more difficult to attract people to our shores, especially the yachties.”
Eustace said that the yachting sector is very important to the Vincentian economy adding that yacht passengers contribute more to the economy than their cruise ship counterparts.
“They have to replenish their supplies, they come ashore in the evenings to have meals in the destinations. And they contribute, they take services like water and so on, fuel and other things like that — get their laundry done and so on.
“So they make a significant contribution to the tourism sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. And anything that happens that impacts negatively on that yachting sector and tourism generally is something we should abhor,” Eustace said.
“It is not a good thing. And we have to have some remedies. We have to go out there in the field. Those responsible for promotion and investment generally in our country, they have to go out there and try and stave off some of the negative effects of a killing of that sort and what it means for our economy,” he said.
Eustace said the crime will affect all of the nation’s tourism subsectors.
Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Ralph Gonsalves, on Friday expressed “revulsion” at the crime.
Having researched this a bit, I agree with Mr. Eustace’s assessment of the relatively much higher contribution of yachters than cruise ship passengers (who mainly spend money on bus tours) to our tourism economy.
Whatever the cause (some form of robbery or extortion), the effect will be strongly felt on our already beleaguered tourism sector.
It is most disturbing to consider that violence against yachties is on the rise in SVG; and what does government do about it? Essentially nothing, except our PM gets out there and says how bad it is. That is really going to stop the violence! Sabota Ceasar talked about harbor patrols when he was Tourism Minister…talked!
Notice we are having droughts every year now. Ceasar closed down the irrigation department…brilliant!
I guess the term for this is: Disfunctional Government leading us to our bankrupt failed-state.
Many, many years ago, Wallilabou Bay was a favourite sea bathing and picnicking destination for our people. What has destroyed the place is decades of illegal but ignored commercial sand mining that I have observed taking place even at high daytime. Little is left of the original beach which has as much course gravel as sand all along the shoreline.
Though the bay features a 12-room hotel, (overpriced) restaurant, bar, and yacht mooring, the Randolph Russell family-owned facility is of gritty two-star class (and not even listed in our tourism literature), marching in lock step with the deterioration of the beachfront.
At the best of time, three or four yachts can be seen anchored there. Still, this is higher than at most of our other Leeward coast bays. By contrast, whenever I go to bathe at Little Bay, Mt. Wynne, I usually observe dozens of yachts going back and forth — presumably to drop anchor in the Grenadines (if going south) or in St. Lucia (if going north) — during a two hour stay.
The Pirates of the Caribbean movie set, an excellent tourist attraction if there ever was one, has been allowed to sink into the sea by a government incapable of or disinterested in maintaining any of our tourism attractions.
Wallilabou is simply an exemplar of our entire mainland tourist industry.
This latest killing is indeed another rusty nail in our rotting tourist coffin, a sign that all the international airports in the world will never bring to life the corpse inside.
If you put in your search engines “German sailor murdered in Saint Vincent, Caribbean” it is reported in every English publication newspaper all over the world, every yachting magazines, every online publication, even the British and German printed newspapers, it has gone viral already.
He’s right. Everyone on a boat in the Caribbean, isn’t coming here. German tourists are everywhere. They never cause problems. You can’t kill a 50 year old German tourist without a lot of people choosing other destinations. They’re online. He was killed for a couple of hundred EC, a laptop, and maybe a smart phone. Worst, there are no suspects, nobody arrested. Violent country, not safe to visit. I’m surprised they had a gun. I would have expected he’d be chopped to death. A gun is worth more than they would have got from the robbery, and the assailants planned to kill the sailors at night. They’re sleeping on the boat. its a disgusting image of black criminals killing white people for a couple of hundred EC, and now every boat in the Caibbean knows the story.
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