Briton Gary Vanhoeck murdered in Bahamas by gunmen

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Gary VanhoeckImage source, Wayne Vanhoeck
Image caption,
According to the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Gary Vanhoeck was at home on his boat when he was "accosted" by two men

Police in the Bahamas have launched an island-wide manhunt after a British man living in the islands was shot dead.

Police said Gary Vanhoeck - 51, and originally from Grimsby - was killed at 22:00 local time (03:00 BST) on Friday on his boat docked in South Ocean, on the island of New Providence.

He was confronted by two men who demanded cash before firing two shots.

Police are searching for four men in connection with the killing but no arrests have been made.

Two of the men are believed to have tied up a security guard while the others boarded the boat, where Mr Vanhoeck lived with his wife, Kathryn.

Mr Vanhoeck, who worked at Stuart Cove's dive centre 17 miles (27km) from Nassau, capital of the Bahamas, is reported to have been shot in front of his wife.

Their boat was moored in front of the dive centre where he was a scuba diving instructor and dock manager.

Image source, Vanhoeck family
Image caption,
Gary Vanhoeck and his wife Kathryn moved to the Bahamas five years ago to work as diving instructors

Michelle Cove, managing director of Stuart Cove's dive centre, described Mr Vanhoeck as "irreplaceable" and "one of a kind".

She added: "Gary was passionate about diving. He was amazingly knowledgeable not just about the marine environment but also about IT and he was a gourmet chef.

"He was happy-go-lucky and fun to be around. Now when I see someone else at the desk, doing the daily roster, it doesn't feel right."

'Everything to us'

Mr Vanhoeck's brother Wayne told the BBC: "The family are devastated, we're finding it hard to come to terms with.

"Gary was everything to us, we can't believe he's gone."

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We can confirm the death of a British national in the Bahamas. We are providing the family with consular assistance at this very difficult time."

The Bahamas' Tourism Minister, Obie Wilchcombe, told the local Tribune 242 newspaper in the wake of Mr Vanhoeck's murder that he was "very concerned" that crime was "ruining" the reputation of the islands.

According to Tribune 242, there have been 50 murders in the Bahamas this year.

Last April, Briton Edgar Dart, 56, was shot dead and his family attacked with a machete during a robbery in the Bahamas.

Police said Mr Dart, who lived in Winnipeg, Canada, was killed when the masked gang attacked his mother's home in Emerald Bay, Grand Bahama.

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