With support and assistance from the Port of Los Angeles, the office of 15th District Councilwoman Janice Hahn and a host of community donors, the historic Angels Gate tugboat is back in operation, once again offering a floating classroom for local students. The tug is berthed at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, a facility of the City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks.
About $30,000 was needed to pay for maintenance on the 65-year-old tugboat. In response to Councilwoman Hahn’s request for support, the Port of Los Angeles pledged $15,000 in matching funds, spurring dozens of other donations to cover the repair bill according to Marifrances Trivelli, director of the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, where the Angels Gate tug is berthed.
“Thanks to the support of Councilwoman Hahn and the matching gift offer from the Port, we were able to raise more than $30,000 to keep this historic tug operating,” Trivelli said. “It’s a tribute not only to Port and city leadership, but to all the community members that stepped up to assist in this effort.”
Included among those who donated to the project were the family and friends of Dr. Paul Bower, a well-known local physician who, after retirement, devoted many years and countless hours as the tug’s engineer. When Dr. Bower passed away last year, his widow, Mrs. Thea Bower, encouraged memorial donations to benefit the tug.
“I’m so pleased that we were able to rally the Port and community members around this effort to save one of our historical treasures,” said Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who had publicly urged support for the tug when she heard about its plight last fall. “This is another great example of the Harbor Area rallying around its proud history.”
”The Angels Gate tugboat is an important part of the Port’s history, and we’re glad to be able to lead the effort to keep it operational as a teaching environment for local schools,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. “As the Los Angeles Maritime Museum begins celebrating its 30th anniversary, having the Angels Gate tug back in operation is a great way to start off the year.”
“The City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks has been the proud steward of the Angels Gate tug since 1992,” said Mark Mariscal, the Department of Recreation and Parks Superintendent of Operations, Pacific Region. “In addition to thanking the community and Port for the financial support, I’d like to personally thank all the hard-working volunteers who put in countless hours maintaining this historic craft.”
Other donors include the ILWU Pensioners, Southern California; Port of Los Angeles Charter High School; San Pedro Bay Historical Society and members of the Los Angeles Maritime Museum Foundation. Jack Wall, president of the Al Larson Boat Shop, coordinated in-kind donations of fuel and paint.
The tugboat was originally built for service during World War II, but was completed as the war came to a close and was declared surplus property by the federal government. The Port of Los Angeles eventually purchased the tug, christened it Angels Gate, and began using it for operations and tours. In 1992, the boat was retired and transferred to the Maritime Museum, a facility of the City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks.
In addition to monthly harbor tours, Angels Gate is also now a “floating classroom” for students at Port of Los Angeles Charter High School. Students interested in the maritime trades use Angels Gate to learn navigation, nautical terms and tugboat operations.