Finding Robert Stewart's discarded ID in Sodor Park, John takes poses as Stewart to take advantage of the general's status to receive free liquor at local restaurants. After running up large tabs at multiple establishments, one manager contacts and brings Phil Aardman to talk with his "friend", only for them to discover Hurt had stolen Stewart's ID. Accordingly, Hurt was sentenced to a month's jail time. John pleads for the care of his rowboat Skiff, which Phil reassures to look after for him. John is later released from jail, reclaiming Skiff in the process.
Throughout the rest of Season 4a, Sailor John was seen in the background of various shots aboard Skiff.
In Grand Unraveling, John concludes the treasure he is searching for is located at the Ballast Mines. To get at the treasure John uses dynamite to loosen the cliff face, unwittingly trapping Michelle and Phil in a shed below. Finding the treasure, John and Skiff leave the scene and quietly stop themselves that evening in the middle of the line. Despite Skiff's protests, John revels in his newfound wealth with little regard for his careless positioning of Skiff on the Main Line. This carelessness resulted in Henry colliding with John and Skiff, killing the both of them in the process. Because he had no living relatives, Phil was not in any legal trouble over John's death and was given possession of the treasure.
- Season 3: Inheritance Part 7
- Season 4: Lineage, Ryan the Quarry Engine, Grand Unraveling, and Not Like Him (corpse)
- John Hurt is named after the actor who voiced him in the television series - his surname was never mentioned in the television series and was added by Turtlesandthomas, but it is likely that the official character from the show, who was known only as Sailor John, was named after John Hurt. Grand Unraveling was dedicated to Hurt's memory.
- Completely coincidentally, the episode in which he was killed off was released the same week that the real John Hurt died.