• Cromer RNLI

Three Norfolk RNLI stations join forces on overnight tow of stricken yacht.

 At 9.32pm on Thursday 17 September, Sheringham ILB ‘The Oddfellows’ was tasked by Humber CG to go to the assistance of the 26-foot Yacht with 2 people on board. The yacht had engine problems and was also taking on water through a fractured engine coolant pipe. Once the engine was stopped the Yacht stopped taking on water but lost all control. The Yacht was in position approx. ½ mile to sea off the Sheringham Golf links.


On arrival on scene the Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) was asked by the yacht skipper to be towed to a safe harbour. Although Wells harbour is closer, it was decided to tow the yacht towards Great Yarmouth which can be entered at any state of the tide where Wells harbour cannot.

Cromer’s All-weather lifeboat (ALB) ‘Lester’ arrived on scene at approximately 10.30pm and a transfer was made of crew members with one of Cromers crew to remain on the yacht. A crewman was put onto the yacht and secured the tow and they proceeded.With tow in place they went to Caister, arriving at approximately 5.00am on Friday. A second handover then took place with Great Yarmouth and Gorleston’s ALB ‘Samarbeta’,which completed the tow into Great Yarmouth.

ALB ‘Lester’ arrived at her home station at 08:00 but due to the swell did not get back inside until 08:30. By 09:11 refuelling, cleaning down etc had been completed.


 Shaun Edwards, Area Lifesaving Manager for Norfolk, said ’This was an excellent example of the three stations, coordinated by Humber Coastguard, working together during a 9-hour operation, to achieve the successful outcome overnight. In addition to Sheringham, Cromer and Gt Yarmouth & Gorleston, Wells lifeboat station was also involved in the discussion as to the best course of action. A real team effort!’


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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.