The ferry route between Nesna and Levang is popular with tourists passing through Kistriksveien on County Road 17.
Torghatten’s managing director, Torkild Torkildsen, confirmed to NRK that the lack of navigators has now forced the cancellation.
– Unfortunately, we had to cancel today at 12am due to lack of staff, but we are working as hard as we can to get this up as soon as possible.
Torkildson says he hopes the cancellation won’t last, but worst case scenario the boat will be docked until Monday.
For now, Nordland County Council is sending a ferry from Nesna on Friday afternoons carrying passengers, but not cars.
This has major consequences for those who rely on car travel via the ferry link.
– This is absolutely tragic. Nesna-Lewong wasn’t the only one struggling. In Helgeland, the lack of manpower has caused confusion, says Ivan Haagland (AP), mayor of Leerfjord municipality on the southern side of the link.
The municipality has employees who live in Nesna, but they are now unable to go to work. Additionally, it is a stretch that is widely used by tourists and the business world.
– For them, being without a boat is very important.
– But they can drive around, right?
– Yes, but it’s only 16 miles to drive.
The trip across the fjord usually takes half an hour, but now there is a detour via Mo I Rana. That means over two and a half hours by car.
Nesna Mayor Hanne Davidsen (Ap) is listed.
– Of course this is a very sorry state of affairs. We’ve had a lot of problems with the boat over time, so it’s pretty bad. We are in the middle of tourist season. But the merchants and travelers who rely on boats are worse off.
– This is important
Nordland County Council is responsible for ferries connecting county roads.
– It’s absolutely terrible, it’s so important, we can’t have anything like this, says Monica Sande (SP), County Councilor for Transport and Infrastructure.
Last year, 500 ferry departures were canceled in Nordland due to staff shortages. The reason is complex, but the reason is that there are not enough sailors to man the boats.
In summer, many connections have more ferries than usual, and due to heavy traffic in summer, ferry crews must also have holidays. Even as retirees and others take on extra shifts to operate the boats, replacements are hard to come by.
Marius Stromen, President of the Norwegian Naval Officers Association. On a tour of Helgeland to talk to its members. He is not surprised by problems.
– Experience is that people have stood longer and worked longer hours. They’ve been there beyond their shifts to keep in touch, but now their patience is running out. And repeated in many links, he says to NRK.
Stromen says there is a shortage of sailors on the boats.
– This has an unfortunate spiral in terms of pay and rotation, which in turn means people don’t apply for the boat. And then the shipping companies are out of manpower, where again we can point to the tender regime, you don’t have the provisions or the salaries that they have in other maritime industries.
Many boats are unmanned
But the ferry between Nesna and Levang was not the only one cancelled.
Dorcotton also struggled to find people who could operate the intervening boats Jegdivik and Kilboggan In Rødøy. As a result, many morning and evening trips have been cancelled.
Further Fjord1 has been cancelled Two departures between Bognes and Skarberget on Friday morning on the E6 due to lack of people.
Helgelands Flat Torghatten Midt writes that the speedboat route between Sandnessjøen and Vega is not staffed. They now have to rent a small boat from Lovund Skyss.
The district councilor says the condition of the victims is broken.
– We have worked on it, we are helping as much as we can, but only the shipping companies have staff. But it is our responsibility to have a good movement and we are doing our best to fix it but it is not so easy when they are not able to catch the people,” he says.
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