The Port of Astoria is headed to arbitration with a charter boat owner the agency is suing for unpaid moorage.
The Port in August sued Henry Tomingas, owner of the passenger ship Wilderness Explorer, for $10,000 in overdue moorage. Tomingas is listed as the owner of Ocean Adventures, an inactive Alaskan company that charters vessels.
The Port claims Tomingas agreed to pay $936 a month in moorage in November 2015; but since September 2016 has refused to pay $10,000 worth of moorage fees. The agency is seeking $10,000 in economic damages, attorney fees and pre and post-judgment interest.
Tomingas, who lives in Girdwood, Alaska, responded this week, arguing the Wilderness Explorer was on a bareboat charter with California-based education and science nonprofit Mountain and Sea. A bareboat charter is an arrangement in which the lessee is responsible for a vessel’s crew and provisions.
Tomingas claims the nonprofit was responsible for all costs associated with the vessel. He also blamed the run-down conditions at North Tongue Point for damage to the Wilderness Explorer.
“The Port of Astoria is negligent in providing substandard wharfage with damaged and broken off piling with no warning posted,” Tomingas wrote. “The defendant’s boat was damaged by broken piling and iron rods exposed.”
A judge has assigned the case to arbitration.