When Admiral Nimitz USN was using the boat now named the Steveston Lifeboat as his Admiral’s Barge back in the mid-1940s, he could not possibly have imagined that she would be in commendable employment some 60 years later as a lifeboat in British Columbia waters. Little is known about her early days, except that she was built by the United States Navy in Pearl harbour in 1944, and the well-known admiral used her.
John Horton an artist from England who immigrated to Canada purchased her in 1988 and named her the Artist’s Life. As a former Royal Navy man, John has a passion for the sea and ships, and so was naturally drawn to Vancouver with its busy port and stunning coastline. In 1994 John joined the Volunteer Canadian Lifeboat Institution. He flew their flag on the Artist’s Life while undertaking volunteer rescue work. In 2002 the boat was renamed the Steveston Lifeboat to better reflect the large amount of volunteer work she was undertaking. Since then the Steveston Lifeboat has been stationed at the fishing port of Steveston, about 10 miles south of Vancouver on the banks of the mighty Fraser River.
With her distinctive dark blue hull and rescue orange superstructure, the Steveston Lifeboat is a familiar sight on the river and in the Straits of Georgia, having been involved in over 600 rescues and numerous patrols, maritime and classic boat festivals, and more recently, burials at sea.
**The above piece is taken from a much longer article written by Michael Pigneguy for the Professional Skipper in 2007.**