Florida Ship's Crew Arrested on Gun Charges in Honduras

Posted by Eric Haun
Thursday, June 05, 2014

The crew of a Florida-based shipwreck salvage company has been held for a month in a Honduras jail after authorities accused them of gun smuggling, a company spokesman said on Thursday.

Stephen Mayne of the Tarpon Springs-based Aqua Quest International said the company had a contract with a local municipality to do salvage work. Mayne said the company told port officials in advance they would be carrying guns for protection against pirates.

"We didn't just show up out of the blue. This was all pre-arranged," Mayne said.

Coronel Antonio Sanchez, a spokesman for the Honduran armed forces, said the crew was arrested because they did not have permits to possess guns in the country.

"In Honduras, you can't carry guns without the appropriate documents," Sanchez said.

Mayne is the brother of the ship's captain Robert Mayne, 60, who was one of six men working on board the 65-foot (20-meter) salvage ship which pulled into port at Puerto Lempira, Honduras on May 5.

Mayne said the port captain told the crew members he would process their paperwork, which would include declaring and confiscating the guns the next morning.

However, local authorities boarded the ship overnight and arrested the crew over the objections of the port captain, Mayne said.

"They are in harm's way," said Mayne who described the jail as mosquito-infested.

Mayne said Aqua Quest was solicited by the Honduran government to do business in the country at a 2011 "Honduras is Open for Business" economic conference in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

The contract with the municipality of Ahuas in cooperation with local Indian tribes was to be Aqua Quest's first project in Honduras, he said. The job was to remove logs that were blocking boat access to local island villages.

Mayne said the five seized guns included two handguns, two shotguns and one semi-automatic sportsman's rifle. Mayne said a Honduran prosecutor called the semi-automatic an "AK-47." Mayne said the weapon is a Century Arms M70.

Aqua Quest describes itself as an ocean exploration and archaeological recovery company. Other jailed crewmen include another Mayne brother, Michael, 57, and four employees ages 26 through 53.

(By Barbara Liston; Additional reporting by Gustavo Palencia in Tegucigalpa; Editing by Kevin Gray and Sandra Maler)

Maritime Reporter September 2013 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

NYK Opens New Planning Center in Kumamoto

On September 1, 2014, NYK and Kozo Keikaku Engineering Inc. established a stowage planning center for container shipping at the Kumamoto office of Kozo Keikaku Engineering Inc.

TNO Receives 'International Media Award for Prevention'

The Engagementgame developed by TNO in collaboration with partners is the winner of the 'International Media Award for Prevention' in the category Multi Media.

More German Shipowners Look to Gibdock for Repairs

Gibdock remarks it has continued to see its stock rise amongst the German shipowner community over the past year. Indeed the Gibraltar ship repair yard’s recent

News

Fortum Buys Stake in Wave Power Startup

Finland's top utility, state-controlled Fortum, on Monday said it has acquired a 14 percent stake in Finnish wave energy developer Wello. Wello has developed

Gazprom Neft Starts Oil Production, Shipments from Iraqi Badra Field

Russia's Gazprom Neft said on Monday it started commercial production and shipments of oil produced at its Iraqi Badra oil field. Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of state gas company Gazprom ,

Statoil Says Normal Operations at In Amenas Gas Plant Resuming

Normal operations are resuming at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria 18 months after a raid by Islamist militants killed forty employees, one of the plant's operators, Statoil, said on Monday.

People in the News

More German Shipowners Look to Gibdock for Repairs

Gibdock remarks it has continued to see its stock rise amongst the German shipowner community over the past year. Indeed the Gibraltar ship repair yard’s recent

Wärtsilä Reshuffles Two Top Managers

The following appointments have been made in the management inform Wärtsilä Corporation: Mr Rakesh Sarin (59), B.Sc. (Eng.), has been appointed President of Power Plants,

Clarksons PLC Perform Strongly in 1H 2014

Leading shipping services group, Clarksons PLC reports strong strong financial performance in the first half of 2014. Financial Results Clarksons increased revenues by 25% to £111.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1676 sec (6 req/sec)