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Father Killed Defending His Family From Robbers On Round-The-World Yacht Trip

Alan Culverwell was killed while protecting his family from armed robbers who attacked their yacht in waters near Panama.

Culverwell had spent two years sailing around the Caribbean with his wife Derryn and their two children.

The family, originally from New Zealand, were on the final stretch, with plans to travel to the Panama Canal then across the Pacific to Aqua Lobo before making their way back home.

Image: Nadine Taylor

But on May 2, their yacht was attacked by armed robbers in a remote part of Guna Yala, Panama, a friend said on a GoFundMe page set up for the family.

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Culverwell was killed while defending his wife and daughter, who were also injured in the attack.

A second child was found uninjured.

Image: Nadine Taylor

In a statement released on behalf of Culverwell's family, his sister Hughes, confirmed he had died in the attack.

"Nothing could have prepared us for the attack that took place overnight and has tragically taken Alan’s life," the statement shared on Facebook, said.

"We want to assure you all that Derryn and the children are safe, while understandably traumatised. "

Image: Facebook (Nadine Taylor)

Hughes described her brother as "a dedicated, loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend to all."

I speak for the whole family when I say that we are devastated with what has happened," she said.

"We are all heartbroken."

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was "providing consular assistance to a New Zealand family following an incident in Panama".

Contact the author jdunne@networkten.com.au