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Ship in distress

On the night of the 12th January, 1899 an urgent telegram was received by Lynmouth Post Office telling of a large vessel, the Forrest Hall, was drifting ashore in treacherous waters in the Bristol Channel.

The storm prevented the launch of the Louisa lifeboat from Lynmouth, so coxswain, Jack Crowcombe, made the heroic decision to carry the boat overland launch from Porlock Weir - 15 miles away!

Launching the Louisa

The 10-ton lifeboat required twenty horses and a team of some 100 men to ferry the cumbersome vessel on its carriage up Countisbury Hill, over Exmoor and down the 1-in-4 Porlock Hill.

The journey took 11 hours, and once launched into the Bristol Channel, a further hour to reach the stricken ship. The lifeboat and crew remained with the Forrest Hall until daylight, when it was tugged across the Channel to Barry for repair - reaching port in the early hours of the 14th January.

The Exhibition can be viewed in the ground level shelter
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