I have a young woman friend, in her mid-twenties, who is visiting the Island for the second time. She is a well-seasoned world traveller and not the least bit naive about the dangers of travelling alone as a single woman. Even so, who would imagine that you could get hurt here on the island? And on North Beach especially. This is her story.
It was just starting to get dark out. Almost everybody else had left the beach for the day. Having been on the beach all day, she gathered up her belongings and started walking down the beach. She was about 30 yards past the Swing Bar I showed you on Friday, when a group of three boys approached her. She says they looked to be in the 12-14 year old age.
One of the group asked her for a cigarette. She said she didn't have any. Then they asked if she had a lighter they could borrow for a second. She rummaged in her beach bag/purse and handed them a lighter. They did nothing with it but continued to stand there and look at her. At this point she was getting a little nervous. She asked them to return her lighter. At the same time, an older, much larger man appeared out of nowhere and stood with the kids, not saying a word.
The boys laughed and gave her back her lighter. She walked around them, continuing on her way. All of sudden she felt a strong force push her from behind and she fell to her knees in the sand, the contents of her bag scattering. She says that all she could think was to get up. Get up! She stood and started to run, screaming for help, for the nearest break in the fence which leads to a restaurant. They did not pursue her.
She reported to the staff at the restaurant what had happened and they accompanied her back onto the beach. Both to see if the thugs were still there and to help her collect her spilled things. Except, of course, there was nobody there and most of her belongings were gone. Her wallet, which only contained money, her camera, her iPod and her snorkel. All gone. Even so, she feels lucky that she escaped this encounter relatively unhurt.
The moral here: Do not stop and talk to a group of people who may approach you....for any reason. They surely will not have your best interests in mind.