Last week the unique British lifeboat Diana White which has been on the hard on Colombo Road Waiuku for some years was taken by road transporter to a new home.
When John acquired the Diana White while he lived in Tauranga, he worked with a marine engineer who identified that if the vessel had been stored in a shed like it was originally designed to do in England and not in water as in Tauranga, the corrosion would not have occurred.
When John operated the vessel in Tauranga he used it to take short trips for a donation. He had an association with Tauranga Foodbank, and any proceeds were given to them. John also undertook trips for underprivileged children.
In her original years, the Diana White saved the crew from an Icelandic cargo ship when the conditions were too violent for air force helicopters to fly. She was also out in torrid conditions during the 1979 Fastnet race when incidents claimed the lives of 15 yachtsmen.
One other notable voyage was when she went to attempt the rescue of another lifeboat which got into trouble while rescuing crew from a ship that was smashing against the rocks near Sennen Cove. In waves exceeding 20 metres in height, the lifeboat was struck by a huge wave and slammed it into the rocks near the sinking ship and all lives were lost before the Diana White could rescue anyone from either vessel.