A 50-year-old pencil portrait of much decorated lifeboat crew member has been returned to west Dorset RNLI volunteers.

The portrait of John Hodder, a member of Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat, was drawn by Camille Moore, who lived in Yawl Uplyme, during an art class at Woodroffe School in the 1970s.

Camille Moore’s grandson Mark Shephard kept the portrait in his loft of his home in Godalming, Surrey, but when he saw the name John Hodder on the back and the obvious signs that the subject was a lifeboat crew member, he decided to contact the RNLI.

Mr Shephard said: “My grandmother was a very keen artist and I have other examples of her work. It seemed only right that the portrait should come home to the RNLI in Lyme Regis.”

Mr Hodder, 76, was unable to attend the presentation but said: “I am very grateful to Mr Shephard for his donation of the portrait and would like it to remain at the lifeboat station as a reminder of my years of service with so many superb colleagues.”

Mr Hodder served with the RNLI in Lyme Regis for 20 years and was recognised for several acts of courage during recuses at sea. Crew members who served with Mr Hodder were known as ‘Hodder’s heroes’.