Three South African visitors to Tobago—a 70-year-old woman, her son and his wife—are recovering from their injuries after being attacked by four masked men, armed with guns, aboard the yacht Dino off Bloody Bay around 1 a.m. last Thursday.
The trio were aboard the catamaran when the four men, in a fishing boat with bamboo poles and guns, boarded their craft and announced a hold-up. A pistol was pointed to the head of the 70-year-old woman while her son attempted to repel the attackers using his machete. He was hit in the head with the machete and suffered injuries to his face.
During the melee, a French woman on another yacht in the area attempted to assist the traumatised visitors, but two shots were fired at her. She escaped without injury. The men then escaped in the fishing boat, leaving behind a mask and cap.
The visitors left the mooring and sailed to Store Bay, where they reported the matter to the Crown Point police. A report was also made at Roxborough Police Station.
Operations director of Store Bay Marine Services Ltd, John Stickland, said the police who initially received the report on the matter did not thoroughly gather the necessary evidence to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“The officers never went to collect the evidence from the boat or sent ‘forensics’ to get fingerprints.,” said Stickland.
He said the visitors remain devastated and are not satisfied with the co-operation of the police. “The crew are pretty distressed by this, as you can imagine. Also, while it is sad that incidents like this happen, it is even worse when the matter is not properly investigated and it is dismissed by the police.
“I would suggest that the use of firearms makes this a pretty serious incident and that the police would be doing everything possible to find and arrest the individuals involved. As this island heavily depends on tourism, it does not send out a positive message that the police do not take attacks against tourists seriously,” Stickland added.
President of the Hotel and Tourism Association Christopher James said he was looking at the facts in the matter, while police officials in Tobago are yet to make a definite statement on the incident.