The Lynmouth Lifeboat. 'Louisa'
A limited edition lithographic print of 950. 22 x 15 inches approximately.
The painting commemorates the night of 12th January 1899 when an onshore gale and mountainous seas made it impossible to launch Louisa, the Lynmouth lifeboat, from the harbour.
The square rigger Forrest Hall had lost its rudder and had been sighted in distress off the rugged coast. The whole village turned out with a team of horses to push and drag the lifeboat up the notorious Countisbury Hill, through the narrow lanes of Exmoor to be launched from the more sheltered haven of Porlock Weir.
The lifeboat crew boarded and saved the Forrest Hall by escorting her to Barry on the Welsh coast. The following day the exhausted crew then brought Louisa back to their home port of Lynmouth, thus completing an epic forty one hours service.
The painting was commissioned by a relative of one of the original villagers who had taken part in the epic rescue. It was to commemorate the 100th anniversary re-enactment of the rescue when an almost identical lifeboat, the Bembridge’s lifeboat ‘Queen Victoria,’ was towed by a team of shire horses and volunteers over the same route. Michael joined them as dawn broke and sleet swept across the exposed heights of Countisbury Hill as they looked down on the turbulent seas of the Bristol Channel.