The MV Earl Winsor is taking a step toward the scrapyard.
The Department of Transportation and Works has been keeping the former provincial fleet ferry on life support in Lewisporte, but that’s about to change.
The vessel has been tied up, with basic maintenance and electrical, while the province sought a buyer, but Transportation Minister Steve Crocker told The Telegram that after two rounds of requests for proposals, with no response the government could accept, it’s time to stop spending for maintenance on the vessel.
“Right now we’re in the process of decommissioning the Earl Winsor,” Crocker said Thursday.
As The Pilot reported in February, the ferry was built in 1972 for use in pre-Confederation Bridge Prince Edward Island. It was formerly called the MV Prince Edward and acquired in August 1998 by Newfoundland and Labrador from the Government of Canada for $300,000.
In this province, the roll-on, roll-off vessel was used mainly to cover the Fogo Island-Change Islands-Farewell run, undergoing a $500,000 refit as recently as 2015.
The ship was replaced by the new MV Veteran, built by Damen Shipyards, but had to be brought back into service in 2016 after the MV Veteran encountered multiple mechanical issues.
The MV Earl Winsor was not brought back into service when the MV Veteran encountered a round of port thruster problems and was removed from service for about four months in last 2017 and early 2018.