Saturday, September 10, 2005
The new New Orleans towboat named after U.S. Rep. James L. Oberstar, D-Minn., was up river when Hurricane Katrina hit the mouth of the Mississippi and wasn't harmed, the northern Minnesota congressman's office said Friday. The M/V James L. Oberstar was named and began inter-coastal waterway service on Aug. 16 in New Orleans ceremonies attended by the congressman. The 2,000 horsepower towboat, built for Blessey Marine Services Inc., was named for Oberstar in acknowledgement of his 16 years service in Congress on shipping, port and waterways issues. As a result, the Oberstar is the newest full-size towboat on the river, although shipping through the port of New Orleans and connected coastal ports remain closed after the hurricane.