The St. Lucia Star newspaper reports that on December 9, 2009, 14 “cruise ship visitors” and tour guides were robbed at gunpoint at a popular tourist attraction in St. Lucia. I learned of the incident on Professor Ross Klein’s website “Cruise Junkie.”
The incident occurred at the River Rock Waterfall in Anse-La-Raye.
The newspaper reports that 14 tourists had traveled in a tour to the waterfall. They were in the process of boarding a “safari jeep,” in preparation to return to the cruise ship. Four masked men armed with firearms and knives approached the cruise passengers and robbed them of their jewelry and cash. One of the tour guides was physically injured.
Anse-La-Raye is a beach village where fishing boats are pulled up on the beach by the main street next to rum shops and small restaurants. The community is known for its outdoor “Friday fish fry” and Piton beer. The Anse-La-Raye website describes the waterfall as the “perfect place to spend several hours in quiet reflection. There is often a local musician strumming his guitar and singing soulful reggae numbers in a quiet salute to Bob Marley.”
However, there are multiple accounts of violence in Anse-La-Raye as well as near the port. A couple of years ago, Canada’s “Next Top Model” and her traveling companion were robbed in Castries, St. Lucia after walking a short distance from the cruise ship – “Model’s Paradise Turns into Nightmare.” After reporting the robbery, the Canadian passenger complained that “both the local police and the cruise line offered little assistance or sympathy.”
“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else . . . I think the cruise ship should have warned us.”
This sparked a heated discussion on the popular CruiseCritic site about crime in St. Lucia and whether the crimes were being covered up.
Earlier this year, four crew members from a private yacht Diamond Girl were robbed at gunpoint while hiking near Anse-La-Raye.
In an article entitled “Caribbean Crime,” Dockwatch (described as “the essential site for captains and crew”) reports that crime on St. Lucia has sparked particular concern in the Caribbean. “The St Lucia government has ordered the police to take back the streets following the murder of six persons and an open threat from criminals to assassinate law enforcement officials,” said Edwin W. Carrington, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), in his opening remarks at the Conference on Youth, Crime and Violence in St. Kitts and Nevis last June.
Violence in Anse-La-Raye is also described in this YouTube video entitled “Talking crime in Anse-La-Raye:”
We have discussed the legal liability of cruise lines when cruise passengers are robbed or murdered during excursions into ports of call in the Caribbean.
St. Lucia is one of the regular ports of call for Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise ships (shown below):
Anse-La-Raye & St. Lucia port (Castries) Julie Leigh of Oxfordshire LEA
Anse-La-Raye fish fry canadianworldtraveller.com
YouTube video Anse-La-Raye crime Salaison