Rest in Peace, Gary Vanhoeck

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John BantinGary and Kat Vanhoeck set off from Britain with the intention of sailing around the Caribbean in their little sloop. Despite their European name, they were very modest people from Lincolnshire, a farming area of Britain, and rather like some others who set off from the Lincolnshire coastal town of Boston some centuries before: They were looking for a new life.

One day, they sailed into the dock where Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas is based, and Gary landed the job of dock manager. The two Brits, both hard-working ordinary folk, fit in well. Gary was responsible for everything from smooth maintenance and reliable running of Stuart Cove’s numerous dive boats to maintenance of the dock and buildings themselves. In short, Gary and Kat were ordinary modest people with nothing to dislike about them, along with that British “cool” for coping with inevitable dive-center operating problems without turning them into a crisis. They might have been considered to be living the dream, but it was not a dream without a lot of hard work.

They continued to live on their little sloop, and if you ever visited Stuart Cove’s dive center, you might have noticed it moored at the far end, away from the exit to the sea. Just like their boat, Gary and Kat became part of the furniture, and they were exceedingly popular with all the regular staff that worked alongside them. It seems so unjust that one night in May, just while people in their home country were concerned with electing a new government (a government that would make very little actual difference to their lives), Gary was ambushed and brutally murdered in a robbery attempt that obviously went wrong.

If you had dived with Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas in the last few years you would have undoubtedly met one or other of them. So stop for a moment and consider the life-changing circumstances inflicted upon Kat and Gary, especially Gary who lost his life so un-necessarily, and be thankful for your life and own good fortune.

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1 comment for “Rest in Peace, Gary Vanhoeck

  1. July 9, 2015 at 3:23 am

    Oh my god, what a sad story. just shows that the worst can happen wherever you go. But also bitter sweet as they were obviously pursuing their passion and dream. Kinda makes you think about the way one should live their life and what really matters. my heart goes out to them :(

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