News & Events for Chesapeake Bay

Diving instructor robbed and killed on yacht - Update

Date Posted: 2015-05-19
Source: WG Staff


UPDATE: A man was arrested and remanded to prison May 18, 2015, charged in connection with the fatal shooting of diving instructor Gary Vanhoeck, according to a article.

This horrifying murder prompted the U.K. government to update its Bahamas travel advisory, as reported at This is just one of a number of Bahamas travel warning issued lately for Nassau and Freeport. The out islands (Abacos, Exumas, Berrys, etc...), where boaters spend the most time when cruising the Bahamas, have very low crime rates.

(Posted May 7, 2015) A British diving instructor was shot dead in front of his wife on the couple's yacht docked in Stuart's Cove, New Providence Island, May 1, according to reports. Two men armed with handguns accosted Gary Vanhoeck, 44, at the Stuart Cove dive center at 10pm demanding cash, according to a police report. 

Vanhoeck was part of the crew for the 2013 Oscar-nominated Robert Redford film All is Lost, some of which was shot in nearby Lyford Cay and other locations in the Bahamas..

Stuarts Cove is near the southwest corner of New Providence Island, and not generally frequented by cruising boaters – it's also known as a a location transformed into a Bahamian fishing village for the feature film Flipper in the 1990s.

Crime is much more common in Nassau's city and harbor areas of New Providence, where cruisers have recently reported thefts and attempted thefts, often perpetrated by men on skiffs approaching docked boats at night. Similar crimes are not common in the out islands (Abacos, Exumas, Berrys, etc...) where boaters spend the most time when cruising the Bahamas. Take extra care and precautions, especially when in Nassau/New Providence or Freeport areas.

Read Daily Mail article: British diving instructor dragged off his boat in the Bahamas during late night raid and shot dead by robbers in front of his wife.

Very sad.

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  • Comment submitted by James Skok - Fri, May 8th

    This is a tragic event warranting a sense of outrage that does not emanate at all from the matter-of-fact reporting style this article is written in. A man was killed! He was MURDERED in the Bahamas which is tragedy of the worst sort, but it happened on their boat in the Bahamas! I had preferred to regard the islands as a place to come to relax and enjoy life and not to fear for my losing my life. You can add that it is also an act of PIRACY. Adding to the enormity of the tragedy is that he was murdered in front of his wife. Methinks the local constabulary needs to toughen up their stance on island crime and come down HARD on it and HANG murderers and pirates. I am seriously re-thinking my upcoming sailing plans. This murder compounds the news of yet another MURDER of a vacationing couple IN THEIR HOME. This time in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The island governments seem to tolerate island crime in the lay-back attitude they are famous for. You can now add infamous for not being able catching the local killers. We cannot bring weapons to the islands for self defense, but the locals have them to rob you.

  • Comment submitted by Mike W. - Fri, May 15th

    I support Mr. Skok's comments but wanted to add that you may bring a long gun into the Bahamas and many other boating destinations. I carry a shot gun aboard at all times and wouldn't hesitate to use it if threatened.

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