The “Save the Delta Queen Campaign” will hold a rally tomorrow (Tuesday) along the Ohio River in Maysville, Kentucky in an effort to keep the 82 year old paddlewheeler in operation.
The vessel’s future has been in doubt because of a legislative impasse in Washington.
Over the years, the Delta Queen has received a routine exemption to a federal safety law regarding vessels that carry overnight passengers.
This year, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, James Oberstar of Minnesota, won’t release the exemption for a vote, citing safety concerns.
The campaign’s Vicki Webster says the paddlewheeler can’t operate without the exemption.
“This is an expensive boat to run, she makes a profit, a tidy profit, not a killing, but she does make a profit. But she would not be able to if she were not filled up,” she said.
Webster says Oberstar is less concerned about safety than he is about pleasing the Seafarer’s Union, which wants the Delta Queen to have an all-union crew. Oberstar denies the claim.