For the past few days, members of the yachting community have been mourning the loss of Capt. Drew Gollan, from the 163-foot Perini Navi Perseus, who was shot and killed in Antigua on Thursday evening. Making the crime even more horrific, he was killed in front of his girlfriend and child.
According to information I’ve received, the assault occurred near the Galley Bar, close to English Harbour. Reports from the Associated Press and both traditional news media and yachting Web sites state the same. Some reports have also stated that Gollan was trying to protect his girlfriend, as the gunman tried to grab her purse; the gun went off during the struggle, shooting her in the foot, with Gollan being shot after chasing the would-be mugger. Unfortunately, Antiguan police do not have a suspect or a motive.
If you’ve spent time in Antigua, then you know how popular this area is with megayachts; the island has long been the hub for Caribbean cruising in the winter. Whether coincidental or not, this is the second crime in the past few months there against a member of the yachting community; two stewardesses were reportedly run over recently.
The brutality of these crimes, in combination with the assault and killing of newlyweds last summer, has locals and visitors alike disturbed. According to a few published reports, the Antiguan prime minister, Baldwin Spencer, as well as other government officials spoke with more than 100 residents and yacht captains last Friday to address concerns about security in and around English Harbour. They promised an increased police presence immediately and, as Dockwalk reports, will stop and search anyone who’s known to have a criminal record and anyone else who doesn’t have business there.
A Facebook page has been set up for tributes to Gollan. Among the many posts is one from Chris Holt, the bosun aboard Perseus, who explains that a trust fund is being set up for Gollan’s daughter and promises to provide details when they’re available. You can be sure I’ll post them here, too.