• Cromer RNLI

New appointments at RNLI Cromer

In the week Cromer RNLI celebrates the life of its most famous son, Henry Blogg, a new Coxswain is following in his footsteps.




In all, RNLI Cromer has made three new appointments within its team of volunteer lifeboat and shore crew. Paul Watling (above, left) has been appointed Coxswain/Mechanic from 15 June 2020. He has been a volunteer for the RNLI for 32 years, starting at Happisburgh as a crew member on the D class, progressing to Helm and mechanic.

Paul joined RNLI Cromer in May 2005 as the station’s mechanic on the Tyne class lifeboat, ‘Ruby and Arthur Reed II’. We then ‘The Royal Shipwright’ which was a Mersey lifeboat. For a year it launched off the beach while the slipway was being reprofiled to take the Tamar lifeboat, ‘Lester’.


In 2017 He took up a new position with the RNLI as an assessor trainer (plant and machinery), covering an area from Cleethorpes in the north to Portsmouth in the south, assessing crews on a wide range of vehicles and all aspects of launch and recovery.This also included mechanics for All-weather lifeboats(ALBs).

Paul said: ‘I am really looking forward to the new challenge of leading a great crew both aboard and ashore.My aim is to create a family environment for the station. We often forget that behind any great crew member there is often a great partner who supports them in their volunteering role, so I would like to bring these family members intointoour lifeboat family.

‘Likewise we also must not forget the fantastic work of our shop staff and ladies guild and supporters, without whom we would not be able to operate.We are one team and that is what I would like to achieve at Cromer’.

In addition to Paul’s appointment, RNLI Cromer have two new additional Deputy Launch Authorities (DLAs). Steve Guest (above, centre) and Roger Sutton (above, right) already serve as shore crew members, with Roger combining this with his role as Visits Coordinator. They will join the existing DLAs, John Redmond and Mike Wass.


Derek Hinds, RNLI Cromer Chairman commented: ‘On behalf of the Management Group of Cromer Lifeboat we are pleased to see Paul return to our station as coxswain/mechanic. Paul is held in high esteem by all at Cromer station for his dedication and commitment that he showed in his previous role as mechanic. We look forward to Paul taking the station forward whilst upholding the traditions of the RNLI at Cromer Lifeboat Station.


We are also pleased to welcome on board Steve and Roger to the operations team as DLA's, excellent appointments for our station’.

This week saw the 66th anniversary of Henry Blogg’s death. He was the most decorated lifeboatman in RNLI history, serving for 53 years on Cromer’s lifeboats. With the assistance of his crew, he saved 873 lives from the North Sea.

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In Cromer there are two boathouses, one for the All-Weather Lifeboat "Lester" on the pier and the other for the Inshore Lifeboat on the east promenade. This boathouse was originally built in 1902 for the then rowing and sailing lifeboat Louisa Heartwell. Also on the east promenade you'll find the Henry Blogg Lifeboat Museum. The whole town is proud of the man referred to as 'the greatest of the lifeboatmen', who gained national fame in the first half of the 20th century when navigation around the Norfolk coastline was particularly hazardous in easterly gales.