RCMP officers end ferry protest in South East Bight

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The MV Hazel McIsaac.. — Telegram file photo

The Sound of Islay ferry has departed from the community of South East Bight and is destined for Green Bay after local RCMP officers were able to convince residents to end their protest.

Residents chained the vessel to the dock Monday night to protest the provincial government’s decision to send the swing vessel to Green Bay, where it will relieve the Hazel McIsaac. That vessel is scheduled to undergo its annual refit.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation and Works said the Sound of Islay departed around 1:30 p.m. today, 30 minutes after officers first arrived on the scene. She said the protest ended without confrontation.

The department said helicopter service to and from the island will begin Thursday morning, weather permitting.

The province has signed a contract with Norcon Marine Services to use its vessel Joseph M. for the run between Petit Forte and South East Bight on the Burin Peninsula. However, that vessel is undergoing work in Clarenville and is not expected to be ready until sometime in February.

The South East Bight and Rencontre East runs are set to share the provincial vessel Northern Seal and a helicopter until the Joseph M. is ready for service.

Residents in South East Bight are concerned the helicopter will not be able to make all of the necessary trips in winter weather conditions.

Organizations: RCMP, Department of Transportation and Works, Norcon Marine Services

Geographic location: February.The South East Bight, Sound of Islay, Green Bay Clarenville Rencontre East

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Recent comments

  • Whyte
    January 17, 2013 - 10:44

    I wish that people would look at a map and see that southeast bight is not a island.i agree with John whack a road in there would end all ferry issues, and would make the community more accessible .my 2 cents.

  • Ken Collis
    January 17, 2013 - 08:31

    For the fine folks who would suggest resettlement let me please give you some info on Rencontre East. CRIME RATE-0%. EMPLOYMENT RATE-95%. TRAFFIC FATAILTIES-0. IMPAIRED DRIVERS-0. QUALITY OF LIFE-priceless... How many times have I listened to people in St. John's complain when they never had the sidestreats snow cleared for a couple of days? How many times do street potholes make the news? The cost of supplying snow clearing and road construction and maintenance can very well be compaired to the cost of a small ferry I bet. We also don't require government to supply a great deal of policing duties either. For our community the province was given 56 million dollars from the Federal Government to supply this service. The money wasn't used to invest in a ferry service. It was used to balance the budget that year. Now the payback time has arrived.

    • roderick hardy
      February 08, 2013 - 19:58

      just a brief message regarding the ferry service in rencontre east and a comment on crime in the community. the people of rencontre east do deserve a reliable boat to service the community ,and government should contemplate on pushing a road through to the community. only then i could say that life there would be priceless. crime do excess in the community including drunk driving on atv's put not reported. the farm industry in the community employes some 26 workers or so, but the wages are very low and i'm not surprised by that because that's what you gets from a large corporation . i was told recently that a vessel called "northern ranger" will be coming on the coast soon , that would be a constructive decision by government to have a boat of that quality to be put on the run from bay'largent to rencontre and pools cove-i really hope this would be permanent rather than temporary-i fear the later. the people of rencontre east should be insistent on writing their MHA and getting petitions to send to their MHA to be read when the house of assembly is in session. this would put more pressure on government to act on their behalf to get a suitable boat on the run. i just like to add, that pot holes in st.johns and surrounding towns are only minuscule to the pot holes in rencontre. we have the equipment there to work on these potholes, it doesn't seem the will is there to fix them up- i just hope better days lies ahead for the community

  • john coffey
    January 17, 2013 - 08:12

    End isolation there and whack a road into that community.It's not an island so why continue with ferry hassles.

  • Bernie Leonard
    January 16, 2013 - 17:18

    South East Bight is not an island! A shameful decision priorizing one settlement over another. the peaceful people of SE Bight should imitate the Idle no More movement.

  • John
    January 16, 2013 - 16:29

    What year is this again? It's time for the government to do something about this problem. As Michael stated, why does the community of Green Bay get priority over South East Bight and Rencontre East? It just isn't right. There are people in both of these communities who are elderly, sick or pregnant. A helicopter service is unreliable, this was proven last summer when Rencontre East was without a ferry for over a month. Then you have to hear people talking about resettlement? Well what about the ferries that do the Newfoundland- Nova Scotia run, what if they had to go and relieve another route? It would be a different story then and it just isn't right. It's time for the government to step up.

  • Ken Collis
    January 16, 2013 - 14:33

    Very heavy handed by government to send in Police to force the ferry release. I expect they will arrive in Rencontre East very soon. I only wish that I could screw up at work and when the stink hits the fan I could call in the cops to cover my butt. Come on Oct. 2015!!!

  • Michael
    January 16, 2013 - 14:15

    Why does Green Bay get priority over Rencontre East and South East Bight? Which MHA is from Green Bay?