44 Trivia


44-001/44328 "The Yank"

Escorting the Olympic Flame

Film and TV

First and Last

Royal Naming


44-001/44328 "The Yank"

44-001/44328 was acquired from the U.S. Coast Guard by the RNLI in 1964 and was used as a prototype for building a further 21 boats. Unlike other RNLI lifeboats the 44-001 was never named, though she was nicknamed "The Yank" for obvious reasons. She was never assigned a Station and spent all her days in the relief fleet. During the times she was on relief duty at Newhaven in East Sussex, they flew a small American stars and strips from her masthead, as she was still registered in the U.S. This resulted in many comments and gifts from American ships receiving help in the English Channel.

During one of her services out of Newhaven, her coxswain's chair was damaged and had to be replaced, it was later salvaged from the scrap yard and installed in their crew room for the coxswain. This was in fact the first coxswain's seat used by the RNLI; previously lifeboats only had a standing position or a small saddle for the helmsman. The seat has also been used by a number of notable people, among them HRH the Duke of Kent who is the President of the RNLI. Due to refurbishments to the crew room, the chair was donated to the Newhaven Local and Maritime Museum. More recently it has gone to the "Lifeboat" collection at the Chatham Historic Dockyard, where it has been reunited with 44-001, which is on static display there.

Bobby Ide the youngest son of Frank Ide, the ex 2nd coxswain/mechanic of the Dover lifeboat told me the following:

In 1971 when Bobby was 6 years old, his father took him to have a look over the 44-001, which was at the time on relief duty at Dover. Once onboard the Yank he noticed a label above the engine room door that was a cut out label from the Johnson's Baby Powder... cut out was just Johnson's Baby. Apparently Ian Johnson then a fleet mechanic had been assigned this boat & obviously stuck this label on and quite appropriately he thinks.... as he went onto become coxswain? mechanic at both Portpatrick and then Troon and is now retired.

He wonders how many other men that have served aboard the Yank ever saw that very same sign above the engine room door!!!

Photo from my collection
At Chatham Historic Dockyard

Escorting the Olympic Flame

Three of the six Australian Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol (ex RNLI) lifeboats took part in escorting the Olympic flame at the 2000 Sydney Olympics on the 15th September 2000. They were P&O Nedlloyd Stratheden (ex 44-003) - Botany Bay Division, P&O Nedlloyd Rawalpindi (ex 44-007) - Sydney Division and P&O Nedlloyd Strathaird (ex 44-011) - Broken Bay Division.

Photo by Bob Bunton
P&O Nedlloyd Strathaird, escorting the Olympic Flame 15/9/00

Film and TV


This film has a short clip of the USCG 44371 entering Station Noyo River, California at the very beginning of the film. The film is from 1987 and features Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.


Master Chief Boatswain's Mate Thomas D. McAdams (retired) featured in a 2 part episode of the television series Lassie, at the wheel of USCG 44303, which was filmed at Umpqua River in the late 60's. Due to the filming of these two episodes there was given special permission for delaying the fitting of the CG Racing Stripes to 44303 and she was therefore the last USCG boat to have these fitted.

First and Last

The first 44ft Motor Lifeboat to be used by the RNLI was the USCG 44328 (44-001) which was acquired from the U.S. Coast Guard in 1964 and was used as a prototype to building a further 21 boats. One of these boats, the Margaret Graham (44-005), was the last boat in service with the RNLI. The photo opposite shows her living Amble for the last time on the 24th July 1999, which marked an end an era of over thirty years of successful service.

Royal Naming

The Hartlepool Waveney was the second of only five lifeboats ever to be named by a reigning monarch, Her Majesty The Queen named her "The Scout" (44-018) on the 14th July 1977.

The "Scout" was also the only British 44 ever to capsize, which she did twice on 28th February 1993. Thankfully the crew only suffered some minor injuries, though one crewmember was washed overboard but was picked up after 35 minutes by a RAF helicopter.


Jersey 20½p Stamp

The Jersey Post released a set of 6 stamps on the 1st June 1984 to commemorate the centenary of the RNLI in Jersey. One of the 20½p stamps featured the St. Helier 44' Waveney Class lifeboat, the "Thomas James King". The painting was created by a local artist Gerald Palmer and depicts the service to the yacht "Cythara" in atrocious conditions on the 3rd September 1983. For this rescue in which on two occasions the lifeboat hit the rocks before rescuing the crew of two men and a woman, Coxswain Mike Berry was awarded the RNLI's Silver Medal.

Alderney 28p Stamp

Alderney (Channel Islands) release a definitive set of stamps ever decade which are produced for them by the Guernsey's Postal Administration. The 1983 to 1993 set were called Island Scenes, which consisted of 17 stamps with the last one being the 28p stamp of the lifeboat "Louis Marchesi of Round Table" which was released on the 2nd March 1993. G. Drummond designed all the stamps in this set.

The "Louis Marchesi of Round Table" was stationed at Alderney between 23 October 1986 and 7 March 1994 during which time she was launched 170 times and saved 123 lives.

Atlantic City Millennium Postmark

This is a postmark the U.S. Coast Guard, Station Atlantic City designed to commemorate the new millennium.

Commemorative Covers
The RNLI produced a number of commemorative covers featuring the Waveney class lifeboats. These were used to celebrate official namings and other special events. More details can be found on my Art Gallery page. My thanks to the RNLI for allowing me to use these images on the site.

Beer Mats

The Devenish Breweries produced a set of eight beer mats called the Devenish Lifeboat Collection. The purpose of this set was to raise funds for the RNLI by advertising a set of eight colour lifeboat postcards, which were illustrated by John Batchelor and depicted the same lifeboats that were featured on the beer mats. The Devenish Breweries donated 25p of the £1 cost of the postcards to the RNLI.

If you have any trivia that I can add to this page, please let me know (e-mail).