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Caribbean, Antigua – Yacht Skipper Shot and Killed

A gunman shot and killed the Australian skipper of a yacht in Antigua on Thursday night, 22 January 2009.

The victim, Drew Gollan, Captain of the 163 foot sailing yacht “Perseus” (a Perini Navi ketch), was walking after dark on the road between English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour. He was shot in the chest at close range outside the Gallery Bar. A source on the island said that he was shot in front of his partner, Elena and young child.

Yachting World were told that Drew and Elena had hired a house on the road behind the Gallery Bar and were on their way home after dinner. An attacker tried to grab Elena’s bag and a gun went off in the struggle, the bullet apparently grazing her foot. Drew chased after the attacker and in an ensuing struggle was shot twice in the chest.

Police Commissioner Thomas Bennett said that currently no arrests have been made.

There are many restaurants in this area usually heavily populated by the sailing community in the evenings. The shooting is reported to have outraged boaters, business owners and local residents and the police have again come under criticism for not protecting the yacht packed English Harbour area.

According to locals, the tragic death is just one more symptom of the increasing drug problem that the island has been battling recently.

The charter and holiday season is at its height in Antigua and this killing comes on top of a number of other attacks including a reported armed robbery at a club on the island and an attack on two hostesses from another yacht.

Yachts due to leave over the next few days have brought their departure plans forward and are on their way out of the island.

This killing has happened in the heart of the yachting community and is bound to have far reaching effects in an area which depends on the yachting trade.

Update 5 February 2009 – from
21-year-old Sylvester Lindsey, an Antigua resident, has been arrested and charged for the murder of Australian yachtsman Drew Gollan, which occurred in English Harbour in Antigua on 22nd January 2009.

Lindsey will be brought before the court on Monday 3rd February for the homicide. A .32 calibre pistol has been seized which police believe was involved in the offence.

Three other persons were detained in relation to the murder. Investigation is continuing,but no further charges have yet been laid.

The success of the investigation was due to a team effort between the police and public. The Homicide and Intelligence Units of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda with the assistance of Crime Stoppers, the media and the general public pulled together to help solve the case.

Numerous tips were received as well as the fact that members of the public have come forward to assist the police. This is thought to demonstrate that the level of cooperation between the police and public is increasing.

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