By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,486)
Late this afternoon Magistrate Judge John Rich 111 released the cruise ship Nova Star from its “house arrest” in Portland Harbor in exchange for a bond in the amount of $750.00 posted by the shipbuilder. The vessel was seized by US Marshalls on October 30, 2015 because of liens against it for unpaid bills in excess of $3 M. Recently Singapore Technologies Marine has been paying off the debts owed by Nova Star Cruises, the former operator. Attorneys for those debtors attended the hearing and signed off on the decision.
The Judge’s decision permits the Shanghai-based owner of the ship to leave Portland Harbor anytime after midnight tonight. Ed MacColl, attorney for the company that owns the ship said there has been interest in leasing the ship in warmer waters, although he had no additional details. A Miami-based management company is responsible for that next step. The former operator who leased the cruise ship ran up bills in excess of $3 M.
In another important step, yesterday morning Century Casinos, Inc. was permitted to offload its 70 slot machines that were still on board the Nova Star. A request it made to be sure it downloaded them before the Nova Star left Portland Harbor.
It will be several days before the Nova Star leaves Portland because ample provisions need to be on board for the crew of twenty who are on board.
Litigation is expected to be commenced at a later date for the ship owner to collect its expenditures.