02/18/2013 08:06 EST | Updated 04/20/2013 05:12 EDT

Newfoundland group says province needs to replace ferry being sold

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A group supporting Newfoundland's Bell Island ferry says the province needs an action plan to help it acquire a larger vehicle ferry.

The Bell Island Ferry Committee is responding to a provincial government announcement last week that the current ferry, the Nonia is being decommissioned and sold.

They committee says removing the Nonia from service would only leave the 52-year-old Sound of Islay which takes just six cars and 49 passengers.

They say that's too small to adequately service larger runs like Bell Island or Fogo.

The government is defending its decision saying $19 million in repair work has been carried out on the Nonia since it was purchased in 1999.

It says with the vessel currently in drydock, it would take another $9 million to get it back into service.