The province is finally pulling the plug on the troubled ferry Nonia.
The Telegram has been telling the story of the Nonia for several years through exclusive reports on the state of the used foreign-built vessel.
Built in Estonia in the mid-’80s, the ferry — originally called the Ahelaid and known as the Hull 100 when it arrived here — has been a money pit since the Brian Tobin government bought it.
The Liberals then expected to have it operating for $2 million.
Efforts to make the Nonia seaworthy dragged on and on.
The Conservatives continued piling money into it after they gained power in 2003.
By the time it met Canadian standards and was put into service six years after its purchase, the price tag was five times greater than anticipated.
Since entering the provincial ferry system as a swing ship in 2005, it has caused considerable headaches for users.
The low points include running aground near St. Brendan’s Island in 2006 and being so unreliable on the Bell Island run that residents there gave it its unflattering nickname.
Finding parts has been one of the biggest challenges in keeping the Nonia going. A number of key components are unique to the Russian manufacturer that built the ship. So much so, that before the province bought the ferry, recommendations were made that its sister ship be purchased, too, for parts.
That the ship’s instruction manual is written in Russian has reportedly been another obstacle.
A Transport Canada memo written in those early years expressed concern about the quality of vessels for sale on the foreign market and Canada becoming a dumping ground for junk ships.