Nfld. & Labrador

Bell Island ferry repairs aren't expected to be finished until Friday

Residents of Bell Island will have to wait until Friday to board a ferry, while a government-paid helicopter was finally able Thursday to carry people to the St. John's area after numerous weather delays.

Helicopters will be up and running until nightfall

The Bell Island ferry service is temporarily out of service. The province is putting a helicopter air service in place for Thursday, but hopes the MV Flanders will be back on the run sometime Thursday. (Diane Royal)

Residents of Bell Island will have to wait until Friday to board a ferry, while a government-paid helicopter was finally able Thursday to carry people to the St. John's area after numerous weather delays. 

Helicopter service had been planned to start at 7:30 a.m. for Bell Island ferry users, but the load-and-go service was delayed until the afternoon by high winds.

The service started shortly before 2 p.m., running from Bell Island to the Universal Helicopters base on Major's Path. 

The service was scheduled to run until daylight ends, and as long as the winds remained fair. 

Helicopters were operating on a load-and-go, first-come, first-served basis.

Fees are be the same as a walk-on adult for the ferry service.

According to the Newfoundland and Labrador government, the helicopters are able to accommodate three or four people at a time, without luggage.

The MV Flanders, which services the run between Bell Island and Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, is out of service for repairs.

An update on Thursday afternoon said that repairs are not yet completed for the ferry, and that testing has not been done.

The provincial Department of Transportation and Works is now hoping to have the ferry back up and running by Friday morning.

The second Bell Island ferry, the MV Beaumont Hamel, is out for a refit and is expected back in service sometime next week.

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