Registration number 3645
Status Registered

Previous names

  • 1910 - 1938 Jane Hannah MacDonald III
  • 1939 - 1953 Jane Hannah
  • 1954 - 2019 Jane Hannah MacDonald III


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Lifeboat
Location Bideford
Vessel type Pulling and Sailing
Current use Ongoing conservation
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No


Builder Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company, Blackwall
Built in 1909
Hull material Wood
Rig Lug
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 2
Propulsion Manpower


Breadth: Beam
8.49 feet (2.59m)
Length: Overall
35.00 feet (10.67m)
Tonnage: Gross


The JANE HANNAH MACDONALD III is not the only Self-Righting Lifeboat of her time in existence today. She is one of a handful that remain with significant provenance for having been built by Thames Iron Works & Ship Building Company, London in 1909, served in the RNLI saving 23 Lives in Appledore Aug 1910 - Nov 1922. On 5th May 1910, the JANE HANNAH MACDONALD arrived by train from London on a specially adapted rail bogey. She was placed on a carriage and drawn by 6 horses across Bideford Bridge, and then on procession around Bideford, accompanied by the Yeomanry, the Band of the Territorials, the Lads Brigade, the Appledore Naval Lads Brigade and the Boy Scouts. Large crowds gathered around the route to welcome her. She served in Eastbourne Lifeboat Station as No.2 Lifeboat Jan 1929 - Apr 1930, then served in Flamborough, North East as No.1 Lifeboat Mar 1933 - Dec 1938. She was sold into Private hands in Jan 1939 to Mr Cann in Whitley Bay North Shields. She was sold to Mr Chase in Mar 1940 and registered as a fishing boat for Musselling, Line Fishing and Nets under LN98 in Apr 1940.

She then served in the same year in Operation Dynamo, Dunkirk May 1940 (registered as a Dunkirk Little Ship with ADLS) and was thought lost at sea. But upon recovery from the English Channel, JANE HANNAH MACDONALD III was severely damaged with one of the two stern posts having been ripped out. She was returned from Ramsgate to the Chase family home and repaired in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. Once repaired JHM was returned to Blakeney North Norfolk. But in Jan/Feb 1953 JHM survived near catastrophic damage to port side following the 1953 floods of Norfolk coastline. She was repaired again in Blakeney, North Norfolk but then used as a pleasure craft and for some time held in storage until 1992 by John D Belfield of Stoke on Trent.

She was bought in Feb 1992 by Simon Evans of Evans Marine International and taken to Migennes in France and stored for restoration by himself as a Lifeboat Enthusiast. To confirm her authenticity the Thames Iron Works production number can be found on her bow ‘TL56’. There are indications of the bow portside having been repaired, which confirms reports she was holed at Flamborough Lifeboat Station when going down the slipway and hitting a rock that had been washed up during the night storm. She has other repairs and damage but this is consistent with her service as a fishing boat and the storm damage in 1953. JHM3 exists as an intact hull with distinct end boxes needing repair. Her hull is a double diagonal in need of repair with internal structural and deck levels require reconstruction in addition to all metal work, ropes and sail rigging.

She is a near 110 year old Lifeboat having served 3 Lifeboat Stations, served in Dunkirk, used as a Fishing Boat and Pleasure Boat and survived some significant near catastrophic incidents. This lifeboat is a continual reminder of the valiant men and women who served then as they do today in the RNLI and to the living relatives of those saved by JANE HANNAH MACDONALD III, but also to those families who also have personal memories of her in their community as a fishing and pleasure boat.

In June 2019 the Appledore Maritime Heritage Trust (AMHT) was approached by John Vistuer, local to Appledore but not residing in the village at present, who had spent the last 10 years researching her.  He had finally located her in a boatyard on a canal in France.   There was no hesitation, as the trustees immediately recognised the heritage value to Appledore.  In October 2019 local businessmen, brothers Simon and James Morris and Rob Braddick, became involved  and not only bought JANE HANNAH MACDONALD III but also arranged for the transportation from France back to Bideford

Update, June 2020: JANE HANNAH MACDONALD III now back in the UK and currently located at Bideford, Devon, where a conservation project is planned for her. She will be restored by Appledore Maritime Heritage Trust.

Key dates

  • 1909-06-21 Specification for Jane Hannah MacDonald III Lifeboat signed off by Felix Rubie, Surveyor of Lifeboats & Cpt St Vincent Nepean, Chief Inspector of Lifeboats.
  • 1910-03-18 Lifeboat received by RNLI from Thames Iron Works & Ship Building Company.
  • 1910-03-18 Harbour Trials Completed.
  • 1910-05-05 Sent to Station - Sent on Train from London to Bideford Station. Then placed on Carriage to be drawn by 6 horses across Bideford Bridge from Bideford Station Yard, to Bideford Quay ready for Launching.
  • 1910-05-11 Lifeboat Naming Ceremony cancelled, due to Death of King 6th May 1910. Launched deferred to Bideford Regatta later in the year 31st August 1910.
  • 1910-08-31 RNLI Lifeboat ON611 named 'Jane Hannah MacDonald' III and slipped from her Carriage into the River Torridge Bideford at 3:30pm after Bideford Regatta Events had concluded.
  • 1922-08-23 Jane Hannah MacDonald III retired from Appledore Services as V.C.S. Motor Lifeboat takes over at Appledore Lifeboat Station. Saved 23 Lives in 22 rescues.
  • 1922-11-01 Jane Hannah MacDonald III placed in Reserve Fleet - Reserve 6E.
  • 1929-01-14 Jane Hannah MacDonald III serve as No 2 Lifeboat at Eastbourne Lifeboat Station. Never Launched.
  • 1930-04-23 Jane Hannah MacDonald III returned to Reserve Fleet.
  • 1933-03-11 Sent to Flamborough Lifeboat Station. Launched 3 times, no lives saved.
  • 1938-12-31 Flamborough Lifeboat Station Closes, Jane Hannah MacDonald III sold out of RNLI service.
  • 1939-01-31 Sold out of Service to Mr Cann Whitley Bay, North Shields used as Fishing Boat. 'Jane Hannah MacDonald' renamed to 'Jane Hannah'.
  • 1940-03-01 Sold to Mr B Chase Broxbourne, Hertfordshire
  • 1940-04-19 Jane Hannah registered as a Fishing Boat 'LN98' for Musselling, Line Fishing and Netting. Owner Mr B Chase, Skipper Mr G long.
  • 1940-05-25 Requisitioned for Operation Dynamo, Dunkirk. Motored from Blakeney, North Norfolk to Ramsgate.
  • 1940-06-17 Returned to UK some (?) 10 days after being lost at sea. Stern post ripped out possibly form being towed full with water, semi submerged.
  • 1940-10-10 Jane Hannah returned to Broxbourne, Hertfordshire Mr Chase family home to be repaired by local Boat Yard, then returned to Blakeney, North Norfolk. Skipped initially by Mr G Long then Mr W. Long.
  • 1953-01-31 Jane Hannah suffered near catastrophic damage to port side following Norfolk coastline floods after being driven into stone wall of house on Blakeney Quay. Jane Hannah moved out with crane from local US Army and placed in Blakeney boat yard on the Quay.
  • 1953-06-10 LN98 Registration cancelled no longer used for fishing.
  • 1992-02-01 Jane Hannah now know as Jane Hannah MacDonald III Ex-RNLI Lifeboat ON611 now owned by Mr J D. Belfield Alsagar, Stoke on Trent.
  • 1992-02-28 Jane Hannah MacDonald III, sold to Mr S Evans of Evans Marine International, Migennes, France. Lifeboat Builder, Restorer and Enthusiast.
  • 2019-10-17 Jane Hannah MacDonald III still with Evans Marine International, Mr S Evans, Migennes France.
  • June 2020

    Vessel now back in UK under new ownership and currently located at Bideford, Devon.

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