Certificate no 3711
Status Registered


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Lifeboat
Location Chatham Historic Dockyard
Vessel type Liverpool Class Lifeboat
Current use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company, Blackwall
Built in 1902
Hull material Wood
Rig Lug Dipping
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 2
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type
Boiler type


Breadth: Beam
0.75 feet (0.23 m)
To be confirmed
Air Draft
To be confirmed
Length: Overall
38.00 feet (11.58 m)
Tonnage: Gross



LOUISA HARTWELL built in 1902 by Thames Ironworks as ON495, a Liverpool class pulling and Sailing Lifeboat at a cost od £982. Stationed at Cromer. A new boathouse was constructed to house the new lifeboat and carriage, costing £525.

During her service, Gold Medal awarded to Coxswain Henry George Blogg, Silver Medals to William Davies and Private Stewart Holmes, and Bronze Medals awarded to crew members George Allen, James Allen, Edward Allen, William Allen, Henry Balls, Charles Cox, George Cox, Leslie Harrison, Tom Kirby, Gilbert Mayers, Walter Rix, and William Rix in recognition of the seamanship, unwavering courage, tenacity and physical endurance displayed by them when the lifeboat went to the assistance of the Swedish steamer FERNEBO after an explosion had broke the vessel in two in a strong north-easterly gale in the afternoon of 9 January 1917.  The lifeboat, only just returned from a service to the Greek vessel PYRIN and with a crew undaunted by their previous exertions, tried to launched once more with the assistance of hundreds of servicemen, many up to their necks in the water, but it was impossible to get past the heavy surf and she was driven back onto the beach.  Several more unsuccessful attempts were made to launch and rocket apparatus was also tried, but just before midnight the lifeboat was successfully launched and rescued 11 survivors.

During her service she saved over 195 lives and was launched 115 times. She is one of only 7 surviving pulling-sailing Liverpool class lifeboats out of 40.

She was afloat for 120 years, first as a lifeboat then a motor cruiser and house.

Now based in the Chatham collection.

Key dates

  • 1902

    Built 1902 by Thames Ironworks

  • 1917

    Coxswain Henry Blogg led LOUISE HEARTWELL crew to save the crew of the Swedish steamer Fernebo after an explosion had broken their ship in two in gale force winds.

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk

More like this

Valas - on mooring

Archived, built 1941 by Groves & Gutteridge Ltd, Cowes

The Elliott Gill September 2020

Registered, built 1953 by Groves & Gutteridge Ltd, Cowes


Archived, built 1953 by Groves & Gutteridge Ltd, Cowes

Eileena Anne

Archived, built 1948 by Groves & Gutteridge Ltd, Cowes