Delta Queen Moves Closer to Operation as Senate Approves SOLAS Waiver

Great news. The Senate has passed a waiver for the historic riverboat steamer Delta Queen from the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations, moving it one step closer to returning to service.

For several years now, we have been posting about the struggle to restore the historic riverboat steamer Delta Queen and to return her to operation on the Mississippi and other inland rivers. The reported $5 million restoration of the 1927-built stern-wheel steamboat has been held up by the need for a Congressional SOLAS waiver. The Delta Queen operated with a series of two year waivers from 1966 through 2007. The waiver still needs to approved by the House of Representatives. A similar waiver was passed by the House in 2013, but blocked by the Senate.

The waiver is required because the deck house of the Delta Queen is built largely of wood which is not allowed under the structural fire protection regulations established by SOLAS. Supporters of the historic steamer note that the Delta Queen has operated safely for over 80 years, 40 of which were under Congressional waivers.

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