Aqua Quest International, Inc. incorporated Aqua Quest International, Inc. in Florida on May 10, 2012 to engage in salvaging, preserving and displaying historical and archaeologically significant shipwrecks worldwide. Its predecessor company was a sole proprietorship of Capt. Robert H. Mayne, Jr., operating in the salvage business for over 30 years. Captain Maynes adventures started at the very early age of 13 when he and he found his first treasure; his beloved “Bell”. It took Captain Mayne 2 years to recover his bell which sits quietly in his home.
The adventures continued and grew into businesses taking Captain Mayne throughout many Countries seeking treasures of various types. Along his path, Captain Mayne was introduced to Dr. Steve Foster whom has spent many years in Honduras doing missionary work and helping the people of Honduras. Dr. Foster shared with Captain Mayne information about an unknown treasure of sunken old growth hardwoods within the waters of Honduras. Captain Mayne then turned his treasure hunting towards recovering sunken logs.
Captain Robert Mayne prepared the boat and crew including bringing firearms on board for protection in international waters. Captain Mayne is all too familiar with encounters of pirates and what measures he would need to take to protect himself and his crew if needed along their 900 mile journey to Honduras. May 1st, 2014 Captain Mayne left his home port in Tarpon Springs, FL guiding the Aqua Quest through the waters and embarking on an adventure he nor his crew knew awaited them in the days to come. This salvage trip was different and unlike any other as they had just come off of a recovery scuba diving 180 feet down to a cargo ship that sank in a 1924 hurricane off North Carolina with high grade copper ore, using heavy machinery, the “Orasaurous”, while keeping an eye on sharks and trying not to get the bends on the way back up. The work is hard and tedious however as our crewman Kelly Garrett said,” If it was easy, the Girl Scouts of America would be in the salvage business and we’d be selling cookies, right?”.
This new salvage site was located in Central America and in a region that had become notorious for drug trafficking however Aqua Quests only interest was to recover mahogany and other old growth logs from the waterways and assist in humanitarian efforts to the Miskito Indians. Captain Mayne negotiated and reached an agreement with the officials of the rural town Ahuas to extract these forgotten treasures and in turn would employee locals of the community, provide community improvements, and involve the community in a profit share.
Captain Mayne was greeted with open arms by the people of Nicaragua whom were excited and anxious to participate in the Captains logging project. Captain Mayne spent a few months going from town to town holding meetings with the locals, explaining the project, and most importantly telling them how they will be involved through jobs and steady pay. In unprecedented time, Captain Mayne obtained the first ever exclusive agreements to locate, recover, extract, process, and ship these sunken treasure logs and struck a deal to lease with the option to purchase a sawmill located in Lamlya. It wasn’t long before the roar of boat engines, turning saw mill blades, and local employees, began recovering and processing these sunken giants at our now purchased saw mill.