It appears the delays behind the launch of the Pelee Islander II in Lake Erie has to do with staffing.

CTV Windsor spoke with Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos on Monday.

Santos said he was under the impression that officials need more time to train staff.

“Having it sit there now with the balance of training for the staff and crew is something that’s out of our control but it’s one of safety,” said Santos.

CTV News reached out to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and the Owen Sound Transportation Company, the operator for the ferry. But there has been no response.

The office of Essex MPP Taras Natyshak said it has been getting inquiries from constituents and the NDP member has also been looking for answers, but has yet to receive a satisfactory answer as to the delay or when the Islander will go into regular service.

CTV Windsor did get a response from the office of Chatham-Kent-Leamington Conservative MPP Rick Nicholls. It says the “MTO and our operator continue to work closely with Transport Canada to acquire the appropriate approvals, including safe crew complement levels for the new vessel.”

The statement goes on to say “more information on an in-service date will become available in the near future.”

The Pelee Islander II sailed into Kingsville in June, but has yet to carry a single passenger.

The $40-million ferry was originally planned to set sail in September, but remains docked in Leamington.

“Not having it in play hasn't impacted us too much but certainly being able to celebrate its arrival really has put a damper on the whole arrival of the new ship and its purpose,” admitted Santos.

Once operational, the ferry can accommodate 400 passengers and 34 cars, or four tractor-trailers with 16 cars.

The sailing season ends in December and resumes in April.