• Cromer RNLI

RNLB Louisa Heartwell returns to RNLI

On 9 January 1917, the lifeboat Louisa Heartwell undertook two rescues in 14 hours. The Cromer crew pushed themselves and their vessel to their limits that day with only sail and oars to power the open boat through the gale tossed sea. Eventually they succeeded in saving 16 men from the Pyrin and 11 from the Fernebo. Now this historic lifeboat has returned to the RNLI.


She currently sits at the All-weather Lifeboat Centre, Poole in storage until a permanent ‘berth’ is available at the historic lifeboat collection in Chatham, Kent. The lifeboat will then undergo significant conservation before joining the museum display.


The Louisa Heartwell is one of only 7 surviving pulling-sailing Liverpool class lifeboats out of a build class of 40 – and she is an early-mid build one (1902), the earliest extant with the exception of Chapman (1901). She served at Cromer 1902-31 saving 195 lives.




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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.