Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Trouble in Paradise: 'Villains of the Caribbean'

I was saddened but relieved to read an interview yesterday confirming rumours circulating amongst fellow yacht crew a couple of months ago about the death of a motor yacht crew chef in St Maarten. The poor young guy was found severely beaten and left for dead on a beach the day after he arrived on the island, dying of his injuries shortly after.

The rumours I heard were that he must have been involved in some kind of illegal activity because of the injuries he suffered and the severity of the attack. Other crew who were on the island at the time were saying it must have been a drug deal gone wrong or that he must have been involved with the villains on the island or even that he must have done something so bad to have deserved what he got.  It's so typical for crew to speculate and I can only imagine the atmosphere on the island at the time. Crew love a bit of gossip, but this would have hit them hard.

I know only too well what the party scene is like out there and it's no secret that crew turn up here during the season and have a total blow out. After all, it's paradise isn't it?! The palm trees, golden sand, the never ending sunsets and the fact that you can get anything you need to help you on your way. St Maarten's clubs and bars welcome the crew in with open arms as they spend big! However, something went drastically wrong and a crew member has been murdered right under their noses.

Fortunately, his Captain and friend who he knew for nine years has come forward to quash the ever growing rumours and to remind people that someone has died and that no one has been charged for his murder. His Captain confirmed that Ludovic, a 37 year old French man had arrived on the island the day before his death. The Captain was contacted in the morning by police to say that he was in hospital in a serious condition. Ludovic was conscious when he was found by a passerby and told him that he had been abducted, robbed and beaten by several people. His injuries were so severe that he had to be flown to Martinique Hospital but he died on arrival.

His captain states that Ludovic was not a drug taker, had had the same girlfriend for years and was well respected by his owners and crew. He would not have been involved in any illegal activity either. His murder remains a mystery but must be a reminder to crew that they have to be vigilant and remember that all that sparkles is not gold. The Caribbean is of course a beautiful place to be, but behind the wall of wealth that surrounds the harbours is an underworld of crack dealers, pimps and poverty which breeds desperation. There are so many cases over recent years where yacht crew alone have been murdered, violently robbed, mugged, mowed down or raped and kidnappings are on the increase.  When you step foot off your 30+ million pound yacht and head towards the local night life you become more of a target than your average tourist. I loved the Caribbean but I can remember some horrific stories which put a dark cloud over what appeared to be an idyllic destination.

I'm glad the record has been put straight and the label removed from Ludovic that he in some way would have deserved what happened to him. I'm sure his family and friends knew that all along but his name had to be cleared.

So...look after yourselves....and each other...Roxy C x