Marigot Bay, St Lucia. File picture: Pixabay

London - A British yacht designer has been murdered at his home on a paradise island in the Caribbean.

Robert Hathaway, a 66-year-old Cambridge graduate, was found lying in a pool of blood.

Mr Hathaway was a long-term resident of St Lucia, where he married his second wife in November 2017.

His body was discovered by a neighbour in Gros Islet, a popular tourist destination on the island’s northern tip, on Sunday afternoon. The Royal St Lucia Police Force is conducting a murder investigation but on Monday said it had yet to make any arrests in connection with the killing.

A marine engineer and keen yachtsman, Mr Hathaway moved St Lucia in 2001. He had bought a plot of land and planned to retire. But he began a stint designing yachts, followed by the creation and management of a superyacht marina in Marigot Bay on the western coast.

He had posted a photograph with his wife – believed to be in her 20s and from the Caribbean – on New Year’s Day alongside a separate message about the opportunities ahead in 2019. Friends on Monday expressed shock at his death, while family members said they were too upset to speak. Shirleyann Giffard, 46, from Birmingham, had met Mr Hathaway while on holiday and was due to visit him next month.

She said: ‘Bob was a loving and caring man. St Lucia will miss a hero and loving man who cared for St Lucia.’

Born in Codford St Peter, Wiltshire, Mr Hathaway went to St John’s School in Leatherhead, Surrey, before studying engineering at Cambridge. He graduated in 1973 and, according to his online CV, spent the next decade working in local government before taking a sabbatical aged 37 when he sailed around the Mediterranean.

He then began a spell working in the design and construction of classic yachts in Southampton and Jersey.

Mr Hathaway had previously lived in Droxford, Southampton, with his first wife Olive, 79, whom he married in 1990.

His murder follows that of British national Roger Pratt in 2014. The 63-year-old was beaten and drowned after being pushed over the side of his boat while on holiday with his wife Margaret. Four men were arrested soon after and confessed to the murder. But they are still to be prosecuted due to a backlog of criminal cases on the island, which has a population of 173,000.

Mr Hathaway was president of the Marine Industries Association of St Lucia and vice-president of the Caribbean Marine Association. In another online profile, he recounted spending his summers ‘living on a yacht’ as a child.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: ‘Our staff are in contact with the authorities in St Lucia following reports of the death of a British man.’

Daily Mail