- Associated Press - Monday, June 16, 2014

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - The M/V BIG J.O. tugboat has been put into service by Yazoo River Towing Company after a recent christening in Vicksburg.

The tug is named after one of the co-founders of Yazoo River Towing - James Oldrum Smith Jr. of Vicksburg.

Family members told The Vicksburg Post (https://bit.ly/1p85Tbi) Smith was affectionately known as “Big J.O.” along the inland river system where he kept his fingers in numerous business ventures.

New South Marine out of Greenville built the M/V BIG J.O.

The boat is manned by a 10-person crew. It is 38 feet wide, 130 feet long.

It is “one of the most technologically advanced boats on the river named after the least technologically advanced operator ever to operate on the river system.” said Tim Hovas of New South Marine during the dedication this past week.

Company officials said the last tugboat added to the Yazoo River Towing fleet was in the 1980s.

Smith, a native of Greenville, began his river career when he moved to Vicksburg in 1968 to manage E.J. Platte Fisheries Inc. His river industry career expanded to include principal interests in several towing and salvage companies. He died in 2006.

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Information from: The Vicksburg Post, https://www.vicksburgpost.com


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