The death of a crew member on megayacht Cheetah Moon over the weekend has sparked outrage from St. Maarten Marine Trades Association (SMMTA) that crimes related to the fragile yachting industry have escalated into brutality.
Association Treasurer Lorraine Talmi told The Daily Herald, “This is not the first time, nor, do I fear, will it be the last. In fact, this is the second time in a week that a crew member was abducted from the Simpson Bay area. The first one managed to escape, and perhaps that is why, if it is the same gang, the second one wasn’t nearly as lucky.”
The latest victim was a French national – the chef aboard the megayacht, who succumbed to his wounds in Martinique where he was airlifted after he was found on Mullet Bay Beach early Saturday morning.
An infuriated Talmi said that aside from the devastating consequences to the marine industry and to St. Maarten as a destination, this latest tragic incident “has far-reaching consequences to all of us personally. When will it be you or me? The people committing these crimes are not St. Maarteners. They are not productive members of our society. They are gangsters and criminals with unconscionable minds.”
“We don’t have the resources on-island to resolve these heinous crimes. We need help from abroad and we need to demand that it be provided, and that there is more police presence in our neighbourhoods, that something be done to deter crime at all levels. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter how successful we are or what ideas we have for the future, we will have a constantly-eroding base upon which to build it.”
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