Operator of cruise ship that stops at Clayton files for bankruptcy

A ship waits for the removal of the cruise ship the Saint Laurent in July from the Eisenhower Lock on the St. Lawrence River.

CLAYTON — The operators of a cruise ship that has scheduled stops in 2016 at the Thousand Islands Regional Dock at Frink Park has filed for bankruptcy.

Haimark Line Ltd., Lakewood, Colo., operators of the MS Saint Laurent, filed for Chapter 11 protection Oct. 30 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado, Denver.

The company’s president, Hans Rood, told USA Today that sailings of the Saint Laurent, the company’s only ship, have been canceled through Dec. 11. While the ship cruises the St. Lawrence Seaway region in the summer, it hosts cruises to the Caribbean and North and South America in the winter.

The ship was scheduled to make a total of 11 stops at Clayton in 2015, but was out of service for about a month after striking a concrete knee wall on the west gate of the Eisenhower Lock in Massena on June 18. The ship was carrying 274 people, including passengers and crew, when it hit the lock.

More than a dozen ambulances took 19 passengers and three crew members to Massena Memorial Hospital after the cruise ship struck the wall, which acted as a fender to protect the gate. Two passengers subsequently were taken by Seaway Valley Ambulance to the University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington.

According to a story published Thursday on USA Today’s website, the company earlier this month released a statement blaming the accident in Massena for the bankruptcy filing, citing unresolved insurance issues. According to bankruptcy court filings, among the company’s creditors are Massena Memorial Hospital, Seaway Valley Ambulance and St. Lawrence Radiology Associates PC.

Mr. Rood told USA Today that the company hopes to quickly resolve its bankruptcy issues and have the Saint Laurent back in service soon. According to the company’s website, the Saint Laurent is scheduled to make a trip from Montreal to Chicago beginning May 24 and a return trip from Chicago starting June 2.

While the five-deck, 105-stateroom luxury ship cruised in 2015 as Saint Laurent, the ship previously sailed the Seaway while known as Cape May Light and Sea Voyager.

The ship initially was slated to dock in Ogdensburg on its Seaway trips, but the company opted for the Thousand Islands Regional Dock after citing potential problems, including U.S. Coast Guard security regulations, with docking at the Dobisky Visitors Center in Ogdensburg.

Article from:- http://www.watertowndailytimes.com




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