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Mary Ann Hepworth

The information presented below is only an introduction to one of Whitby's ex lifeboats, one that has a unique history. The owner Barry Sneddon is one of Whitby's infamous characters himself. His own dedicated website is currently undergoing a major revamp and now has many new and interesting photographs making the website well worth a visit .

Session One

In April 1938 Whitby received it's new lifeboat little did anyone know then that she was to become one of the longest serving lifeboats in the R.N.L.I. fleet.

On 11th April 1938 the new Whitby lifeboat went on service, costing £6,576 it was provided by Mr. W. Hepworth of Hull. The naming ceremony took place on June 27th 1938 she was named "Mary Ann Hepworth" by the Marchioness of Normanby. A 41ft Watson class fitted with two 35hp petrol engines & sails she was not self righting, nevertheless she was state of the art for her time.

In 1974 after serving 36 years, being launched 372 times and saving 201 lives she was replaced by the Waveney class lifeboat " The White Rose of Yorkshire ".

After being sold by the R.N.L.I. she spent some time on the Broads and the river Trent. In 1988 Barry Snedden who was a crewman on the Whitby lifeboat bought her and brought her back to Whitby. On arrival back "home" Barry put the boat back to near original as possible, After several inspections by the powers that be, permission was given and the necessary licences acquired to do pleasure trips. 1989 saw her back in her original lifeboat colours and giving pleasure trips to sea from Whitby's bandstand.

Sea Trips

Mary Ann Hepworth

The boat has been seen in episodes of the Yorkshire television series 'Heartbeat', with Adam Hart Davis also in the TV series 'One Summer in Whitby', and again in 'Island Race' with John McCarthy and Sandy Toskvig.


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Sadly today the former lifeboat is no longer in Whitby and has been replaced by a pirate boat operating trips as usual from April to October you will find Barry and his crew ready to take you for a trip on the boat, leaving every half hour from 10 a. m. till dusk from near to the swingbridge, adjacent to the HSBC bank.

Come to sea with Barry and his crew and enjoy the best half hour you will spend in Whitby.

Barry is happy specialising in school and private parties, for prices he can be contacted using any of the following methods

  • 01947 821553 - Landline / Fax
  • 07779 318948 - Mobile
Barry In Costume