Thursday, 13 September 2018

Happisburgh Happiness?

People who know about that place in Norfolk know it is pronounce Haze-borough. So should the post title be Hazeborough Haziness, or Happy'sBorough Happyness? I have no idea. The RNLI there are determined to keep people happy and safe- and 4 years ago this week, they unveiled a warning painted on the slipway
Two years ago , sadly, a gentleman sailed nearby who hadn't put the 'think or sink' mantra into practice.
In October 2016 John Favell set out to sail from Hull to Canvey Island, and got into difficulties near Cart Gap, part of the Happisburgh coastline.
His boat [on which he lived] ran onto the groyne - and although he managed to struggle to shore, the boat was embedded and could not be retrieved. Locals had alerted the RNLI, who found Mr Favell, mercifully without serious injury. They drained the 25 ton yacht's fuel to prevent pollution - but it had to be left stranded.
Mr Favell said he regretted not calling for help sooner, when his engine lost power and the boat started drifting. He'd not realised he was so close to the RNLI station at Cart Gap. The boat was eventually buffeted to bits by the waves. Locals were brilliant- he was given free accommodation at the local pub, and folk rallied round and arranged a fundraiser for him. Most people will be unaware of this sorry saga - until now. 
A gifted Norfolk photographer, Chris Herring went along the coast [he lives less than 20 miles away] and took pictures of the stricken boat. And this week, his picture "Fighting to the last" showing the 42 foot 'Mithril' being claimed by the waves, has won an award. The Shipwrecked Mariners' Society charity holds an annual contest for the best pictures illustrating Britains relationship with the sea. Chris won the"Ships and Wrecks" Category with this amazing picture
The sea looks as if it is boiling as the boat is dying. What an amazing picture!
You can see the other winning photos from other categories here
If you are thinking ahead about gifts- Chris has some fine photographs [and photography courses] available on his website
And the SMS offers cards and calendars [this picture will be on the 2020 calendar] here. Personally I think their Ship's Cat teatowel [printed by Seasalt] is great fun. 
All this is a good reminder that the sea is mighty powerful and we should never take it for granted. JFK had a plaque on his desk when he occupied the Oval Office in the White House.


  1. Very similar to The Breton Fishermans prayer " Dear Lord, be good to me; the sea is so wide and my boat is so small.

  2. What a dramatic and poetic photo of the sinking yacht.


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