DULUTH  (AP) -- Former U.S. Rep. James Oberstar is getting a rare honor - a Great Lakes ship named after him.

Interlake Steamship Co. is renaming a ship the Hon. James L. Oberstar after the Minnesota Democrat.

The laker had previously been named the Charles M. Beeghly, after the former chairman of the board of Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. The 805-foot ship was built in 1959 and originally was named the Shenango II.

President Mark Barker says Ohio-based Interlake wanted to honor Oberstar, the former chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee who made the Great Lakes a priority.

Oberstar lost his bid for a 19th consecutive term in November when he was defeated by Republican Chip Cravaack.

A formal christening ceremony is planned for late May in Duluth.

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