4 May 2019

New Zealander killed by pirates off Panama - reports

6:31 am on 4 May 2019

A New Zealand man has been killed, reportedly by pirates, on a boat in Panama.

generic boat waves

The family was intending to sail through the Panama Canal on their way back to New Zealand. Photo: 123RF

Alan Culverwell was killed while defending his wife and two children in a remote part of Guna Yala, on the North Eastern coast of Panama.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was providing consular assistance to the man's family.

It would not provide any further information due to privacy considerations

The Panama Press reported a child was also injured in the attack.

It said police were working to determine why the attack occured.

A GoFundMe page was set up for the family. It says Alan and his wife and two children were attacked by armed robbers on 2 May.

"The Culverwells are special people. They are without a doubt the kindest and most genuine family we have ever met. After two years cruising the Caribbean, they were on their way to the Panama Canal to make the big puddle jump across the Pacific and to eventually take Aqua Lobo back home to New Zealand," it said.

"They treat everyone they meet like family and it breaks my heart to be writing this message."