Federal officials are trying to get authorities in Spain to let them visit a former Nova Scotia fisherman who was arrested during a cocaine bust last month.

Philip Halliday was one of seven crewmen aboard the ship Destiny Empress when it was raided by police off the coast of Spain on Dec. 20. Investigators said they discovered 1.5 tonnes of cocaine in the ship's hold.

The 53-year-old from Digby, who had heart bypass surgery last year, was taken to a hospital in La Coruna, in northwestern Spain.

Andre Lemay, spokesman for the federal department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, said a representative from the consulate is expected to visit Halliday "in the coming days."

However, Lemay added, access to Halliday rests with the Spanish authorities, and that hasn't been granted yet.

Sheree Halliday said she's still anxiously awaiting any news about her husband. She told CBC News that she's been unable to speak to him or find out whether he'll be charged.

The holiday season has made it difficult to contact officials and get information, she said.

Halliday said she doesn't know why her husband was taken to hospital.  She said her calls have been intercepted by a police officer who says Philip Halliday isn't allowed to speak while under arrest.

CBC News hasn't been allowed to talk to the Digby man either.

Sheree Halliday maintains her husband is innocent. She won't say why he took a job on the ship. She said her biggest fear is that he may be detained for up to a year until police decide whether to charge him.

Police in England said the ship, which left the West Indies and was bound for London, was seized as part of a multinational police operation. Several more arrests followed.

Fifteen people in England are expected to go to court later this month to face various, drug, weapons and money-laundering charges.