Remnants of historic Henry Blogg rescue appear in shallows off north Norfolk coast

PUBLISHED: 15:55 05 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:38 07 June 2018

The remnants of one section of the SS Fernebo. Picture: Alison Toon

The remnants of one section of the SS Fernebo. Picture: Alison Toon

Alison Toon

The scene of one of Norfolk’s most heroic rescues appeared in the shallows of the North Sea this week, with onlookers questioning what it was they were witnessing.

The remnants of one section of the SS Fernebo. Picture: Alison ToonThe remnants of one section of the SS Fernebo. Picture: Alison Toon

Every child growing up in north Norfolk will know the story of lifeboatman Henry Blogg, who tirelessly fought to save the lives of hundreds of men stranded in the ocean.

The site of perhaps Mr Blogg’s most famous feat was unearthed this week at an unusually low tide, as the remnants of the SS Fernebo was spotted on Cromer’s East Beach.

Alison Toon is a professional photographer, and was out scouring the ocean on June 2, when she came across a “rib like” wooden structure in the sand of around 20 metres long.

She said: “I was walking back from Overstrand and I just saw these structures that looked like ribs poking out of the sand in the fog.

Cromer lifeboat hero blue plaques preview - Henry BloggCromer lifeboat hero blue plaques preview - Henry Blogg

“I thought it was a ship wreck, but I also knew their were groynes out there so posted into Enjoy Cromer More, and they soon told me what it was I had seen.”

The Fernebo was a Swedish cargo ship, carrying timber and 17 men through gale force winds and rough seas, when it struck a mine in January 1917 and was blown in half.

Of the crew, six were washed up on East Beach on the north Norfolk coast, but 11 remained stranded on a shipwreck.

Mr Blogg and his Louisa Heartwell crew decided to brave the 50-mile-an-hour winds, and returned with all the crew members safe.

“When I went back the second day with my camera I was all the way out at low tide, surrounded by fog and by myself,” the Cromer resident added. “It was spooky, and just made me think about how brave the people of Cromer were to go out and save these men’s lives.”

Ms Toon moved from California to Cromer a few years ago. She said: “I’ve always loved the town and learning about its history, and it’s wonderful to see how the town still supports its RNLI and all the wonderful work they do.”

Within two days of the sighting of the ship, it had once more been claimed by the waves until the next uncharacteristically low tide.

Alison Toon’s work can be found in her online gallery, the professional photographer lives in Cromer, north Norfolk.

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