An all volunteer group, the National Liberty Ship Memorial (NLSM), acquired Jeremiah O'Brien in 1979 for restoration. At that time, she was virtually the last Liberty at the anchorage. Amazingly, those who volunteered to resurrect the mothballed ship (led by Captain Edward MacMichael, NLSM Executive Director and Master) were able to get the antiquated steam plant operating while she remained in Suisun Bay. After more than three decades in mothballs, Jeremiah O'Brien's boilers were lit. The ship left the mothball fleet on 21 May 1980 bound for San Francisco Bay, drydocking, and thousands of hours of restoration work. She was the only Liberty Ship to leave the mothball fleet under her own power.
Docked today at Pier 45, she makes several passenger-carrying daylight cruises each year in the San Francisco Bay Area, and occasional voyages to more distant ports such as Seattle and San Diego.
Footage of the ship's engines was used in the 1997 film Titanic to depict the ill-fated ship's own engines.
The ship is completely restored and most areas are open to the public, including the engine room, bridge, and cargo holds.
The ship will sail under the United States Lines house flag during their annual Veterans Memorial Cruise on May 20, 2017 as part of a sponsorship agreement.