It might be something for all seafarers to consider: dump all illegal items when making a distress call.
And, two Penniston men learned this the hard way after an AK-47 rifle — a prohibited weapon, 67 rounds of 5.56 ammunition, and 1,632 grammes of cannabis were found in a boat after it was towed to Mustique on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, police arrested and charged Winston Enville Parsons, 32, a labourer, of Penniston with the offences of possession of a prohibited firearm and possession of unlicensed ammunition, and Joel Barker, a 32-year-old landscaper, also of Penniston with the offences of possession of controlled drugs and drug trafficking.
Police said that officers working at the Mustique Police Station responded to a distress call by a vessel that was stranded at sea.
Security personnel on the island towed the boat to the Mustique wharf.
Police made enquiries and conducted a search on the occupants and the vessel, which resulted in the discovery of one 5.56 Zastava Serbia (AK47 pistol) along with 67 rounds of 5.56 ammunition, and 1,632 grammes (3.6 lbs) of cannabis.
As a result, Parsons was charged with having a prohibited firearm in his possession without the authorization of the minister and possession of 67 rounds of 5.56 ammunition without a license issued under the firearms act.
Barker was charged with possession of 1,632 grammes of cannabis with intent to supply it to another, and possession of 1,632 grammes of cannabis for the purpose of drug trafficking.
Both men appeared before the Serious Offences Court, on Wednesday, and pleaded guilty.
Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne sentenced Parsons to 4 years and 9 months in prison for possession of a prohibited firearm and 15 months for possession of ammunition without a license.
Both sentences would run concurrently.
Barker was fined EC$1,530 for possession of a controlled drug, to be paid by Aug. 31 or be sentenced to 5 months in prison.
He was further fined EC$1,800 for drug trafficking to be paid by the same date or be sentenced to 6 months in prison.