Nfld. & Labrador

Fogo protesters demand second ferry

A group of disgruntled ferry users on Fogo Island are demanding better service.

A group of disgruntled ferry users on Fogo Island is demanding better service.

The MV Captain Earl W. Winsor was taken out of service Saturday morning for a scheduled refit.

The MV Beaumont Hamel will act as a replacement, but residents say a second ferry needs to be added to the Fogo Island - Change Islands run.

A group of about 30 demonstrators crowded the deck of the Winsor Saturday morning for three hours in an attempt to stop the ferry from leaving.

"We're trying to get our point across to government because they told us that there would be two ferries left in service before the Winsor left here. But the government sent the Beaumont Hamel only," said protest organizer Maureen Lynch.

"This goes to show the empty promises of our elected government and bureaucrats...but I'm telling you, they're going to have a fight on their hands this time."

RCMP were called in to break up the protest.

Lynch plans to hold a public meeting early this week to get more residents involved and to organize more demonstrations.

Lynch said the protestors aren't satisfied with the Beaumont Hamel because it isn't big enough to accommodate the traffic travelling to and from Fogo Island and Change Islands.

"She only has half of the deck capacity of our own boat, and I mean right now it's a busy time for the Fogo Island ferry. Our ferry, the one that went, she can take 6 tractor trailers as opposed to the Beaumont being able to handle just two," said Lynch.

A release issued by the Department of Transportation and Works Friday said, "The MV Sound of Islay is scheduled to join the MV Beaumont Hamel on the Fogo Island - Change Islands run when it is relieved from duty on the south coast of Newfoundland."