Having lived on Boblo Island for six years, Nicolle Scott had come to accept that there might be periods where ferry service is down.
“If you want to live on an island, you have to accept the challenges of living on an island,” she said.
The main ferry between the island and the mainland went out of service around 1:30 p.m. Friday afternoon for “routine maintenance.”
Scott said that usually doesn’t take too long, but residents have now been told it won’t be back up and running until Wednesday – and the backup ferry is out of commission as well.
“These problems exist because the ferries are ancient,” said Amherstburg Mayor Michael Prue.
Prue, who also lives on Boblo Island, said Transport Canada deemed the backup ferry unsafe.
“The ferry that is down for repair is 91-years-old and the one that cannot be certified is 96-years-old, and one can only expect that these kind of problems will happen without an updated and newer ferry,” he said.
So, for three days now, Boblo Island residents have schlepped back and forth using a smaller boat – in some cases, vessels privately owned by residents.
That means they can’t take their vehicles to the mainland to go grocery shopping or even drive themselves to work.
It also means those who drove to the island before service shut down have found their vehicles stuck across the river.
“I actually had some people working on my property that could no longer get their vehicle back,” said Scott.
“There’re contractors on the island that were working on residents homes that have their vehicles and tools stuck here.”
The ferry is privately operated by Amherstburg Ferry Company, which is owned by Amico Properties.
CTV News reached out for comment but did not hear back by deadline.
Prue told AM800 he plans to bring the transportation trouble up at Wednesday’s meeting of Amherstburg.
Scott says she’s taking the disruption in stride but says there’s a lot of frustration among her neighbours.
“There is no excuse for not having a backup ferry that is operational for when incidents occur,” she said.
“We all don’t mind being down for a few hours or even a whole day. But when a ferry is non operational and for days on end, almost a week… That is unacceptable.”
Residents have been told ferry service will resume Wednesday.