Judge approves ship sale needed to release stranded sailors

SAVANNAH, Ga. – A crew of 15 sailors should be heading home soon after being stuck for nearly four months aboard a cargo ship off the Georgia coast.

Federal marshals seized the Newlead Castellano while it was docked in Savannah in April after creditors sued the ship’s owner, saying they were owed $7.1 million. The ship and crew remained anchored off Tybee Island during the legal battle, which ended with the ship being sold at auction for $7.4 million last week.

A U.S. District Court judge approved the sale in court Monday.

Todd Baiad (BAYD), an attorney for the creditors, says a new crew has already begun to move onto the ship. He says the original crew members, who are mostly from the Philippines, may begin their journey home as early as Friday.