Captain Shot and Killed

23 January 2009

A superyacht captain was shot and killed Thursday night in Antigua.

According to Senior Sergeant William Holder of the Antigua Police, the incident occurred at 10:45 p.m. on January 22 in the English Harbour area near the Gallery Bar. The captain has been identified as Drew Gollan of the 163-foot Perini Navi ketch Perseus. Sergeant Holder said Gollan was walking home with his girlfriend and child when the incident occurred.

Gollan's girlfriend, Alena Sitkova, reported to the Australian press that they had been walking home from dinner with their 21-month-old daughter when they were accosted by a man with a gun, attempting to rob them. Gollan tried to protect them by jumping in front of them but the man shot at Sitkova, grazing her foot with a bullet, Gollan was enraged, according to Sitkova, and ran after the would-be-robber who shot Gollan three times in the chest. He died on the way to the hospital.

The Antigua police request that anyone with information on this tragic incident to call +1 268 462 3913.

UPDATE: Gov't Says: No Tolerance to be Policy

At 10:30 a.m. Friday, January 23, more than 100 concerned members of the local business community and visiting yacht captains and crew convened at Abracadabra restaurant to find out what the government and police were doing to provide security in the area.

The Prime Minister canceled Parliament to attend, accompanied by the Commissioner of Police, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, the Minister of Tourism and the Minister of Justice.

The meeting was chaired by John Duffy, president of the Antigua & Barbuda Marine Association, who reports that there is a lot of distress in the local community and among visiting yachts. The group was looking for assurance that the criminals would be apprehended and prosecuted and that measures would be implemented to ensure this does not happen again.

The police commissioner said that more resources would immediately be placed in the area – more police, with more visibility – with longer term policies to come. In addition, they will introduce “stop and search” procedures, targeting people who have no business in the area, specifically known criminals. The government and police acknowledged that English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour should be relatively easy areas to protect and profess a “complete no-tolerance policy.”

[English and Falmouth Harbour] is not a bad area,” says Duffy. “The more serious criminals come from other part of the island. They know yachts bring in money; it’s seen as relatively easy pickings.”