Wells Lifeboat  RNLI Lifeboats Wells Norfolk UK
Wells Lifeboat

You can now
find us
on Facebook


Welcome to Wells RNLI

Wells-next-the-Sea RNLI Lifeboat Station houses an all-weather lifeboat and an inshore lifeboat to save lives and assist with emergencies around Wells and off the North Norfolk coast. Manned by volunteer crews, the boats are ready to launch within minutes, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. This website will tell you more about the station and give you a taste of what we do and the traditions of the lifeboat service.

Recent Services

3 September 2014

Humber Coastguard contacted the station at 08:28 initially for the launch of the ALB to assist a 28ft yacht Ra with one person on-board following a faint VHF radio call from the vessel. The skipper had anchored overnight following engine failure and winds too light to sail. He estimated his position was somewhere between Burham Overy and Wells harbours but was unsure whether the anchor was holding.

After discussion, it was decided to launch the ILB in the first instance to try to locate the yacht and, if found close by, to tow it to Wells. The crew were paged at 08:34. Launching from Holkham Bay at 08:58 the ILB began a search towards Burnham Overy harbour but without result. The ALB was taken from the boathouse to use its VHF direction finding equipment, giving a NW bearing to the yacht. At the same time the local coastguard team reported sighting a vessel estimated to be 5 miles north of Brancaster harbour. With this information and sufficient crew already available at the boathouse, it was decided to launch the ALB. As the ALB was in the process of launching from Holkham Bay at 09:50, the ILB reported that it was alongside the Ra and would begin to tow the vessel towards Wells. The lifeboats rendezvoused at 10:15 where the tow was transferred to the ALB and the ILB released to return to station. Passage resumed to Wells and the casualty was moored on the quayside pontoons at 12:00. The ILB was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 11:30 and the ALB by 13:00.

Weather Cloudy Visibility Moderate Wind N2 Sea Slight

1 September 2014

The ILB was launched following a 999 call from 3 kayakers unsure of their position, with darkness approaching, in the vicinity of Blakeney. The ILB launched at 19:58 very early on the flood and proceeded towards Blakeney while Humber coastguard in conjunction with local coastguard officers attempted to pinpoint the kayaks. This was determined to be on sand at the southern edge of Blakeney harbour, close to Blakeney pit. With the kaykers flashing a light from a mobile phone, the ILB met up with them at 20:30 and escorted them on the first of the water into Morston creek where the local coastguard assisted them with recovery of their vessels and vehicle. The ILB returned to station at 21:35pm and was re-fuelled and ready for service again by 22:00.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind Light airs Sea Slight

Gin Fizz, 29 August 2014

Gin Fizz under tow, 29 AugustFW

Gin Fizz, 29 August 2014

Gin Fizz under tow, 29 AugustFW

29 August 2014

The all-weather lifeboat was requested following a report from Wells Harbour of a locally moored 23' yacht Gin Fizz with one person on-board in difficulty off Wells and which had now missed the tide to be able to enter the harbour. The yacht was having difficulty sailing in the conditions and its outboard engine was struggling to make any headway.

A charter fishing vessel Katie Louise diverted to stand by the yacht while the lifeboat proceeded to a low water launch at Holkham Bay and to rendevous with the casualty at 13:15, approximately 1nm north east of the harbour. A crew member was transferred to the Gin Fizz and a tow established towards Wells. There was insufficient water to attempt to take the yacht into the harbour entrance channel so the tow was continued into more sheltered water in Holkham Bay. Here, it was decided that, given the forecast, rather than leave the yacht to make its own way in on the evening tide it would be better for the lifeboat to wait with it. The lifeboat therefore anchored until 18:30 before bringing the yacht into Wells on the first of the tide.

Weather Cloudy Visibility Good Wind SW4-5 Sea Slight-Moderate

20 August 2014

Humber Coastguard requested the launch of Wells ILB following a report from a seal boat operator having seen a smoke flare and a small dory in surf on the north-west end of Blakeney Point. The 17' Boston Whaler had lost engine power and was driven onto the shore close to the wreck beacon, fortunately with the skipper managing to get ashore unhurt. The vessel was high and dry when the ILB arrived on scene, after having negotiated a moderate northerly swell on Wells bar. With the assistance of Cley coastguard, who had driven along the point, it was decided that it was not practical or safe to attempt to refloat the boat given its position and difficult conditions to seaward. An anchor was laid out and it was agreed that the owner would return the following day to recover the vessel on the tide. Leaving the owner in the case of the coastguard team, the ILB was stood down at 17:10 and returned to station.

Weather Cloudy Visibility Good Wind NE 3 Sea Slight-Moderate

The lifeboat arrives alongside yacht Amigo, 16 August 2014

The lifeboat arrives alongside the yacht Amigo, 16 AugustMP

Amigo under sail heading towards Wells, 16 August

Amigo under sail heading towards Wells, 16 AugustMP

Wells Lifeboat escorting the yacht Amigo, 16 August

Wells lifeboat escorting Amigo towards Wells, 16 AugustMP

Amigo under tow into Wells harbour, 16 August

Amigo now under tow entering Wells harbour, 16 AugustMP

16 August 2014

The 28' yacht Amigo with 2 persons on-board on passage to Grimsby contacted Humber coastguard at 18:00, reporting that it was not making much headway under sail following engine failure and that it was diverting to Wells. The all-weather lifeboat was paged 18:20 as it was uncertain that the yacht would be able to make a safe passage and entry to Wells.

The lifeboat launched from Holkham Bay at 18:50 and arrived alongside the yacht at 19:25, which was by now making good progress under sail towards Wells. The lifeboat escorted the yacht to the fairway where, at 20:50, a crew member was placed aboard and a tow attached to take the vessel into harbour early on the flood tide. The Amigo was safely moored up in the outer harbour by 21:20.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind SW4-5 Sea Slight-Moderate

11 August 2014

As the ILB was departing from Brancaster Hard at the end of the previous service, concern was raised about a small sailing dinghy with three persons on-board in difficulties on a lee shore. On investigation the dinghy had suffered sail damage in the strong gusting winds. The ILB then made a return trip to Brancaster Hard towing the vessel where it was subsequently recovered. Departing at 09:36, the ILB returned to station at 10:15 and was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 10:45.

Weather Cloudy Visibility Good Wind SW 5/6 Sea Slight

11 August 2014

Humber coastguard initially requested an ILB launch to assist a 6m speedboat suffering engine failure with six persons on-board, thought to be in the vicinity of Brancaster harbour. With scant information as to the location of the casualty and strong SW winds, it was agreed to launch the ALB and the crew were paged at 07:37. As the crew were mustering, the local Coastguard team managed to locate the casualty inside Brancaster harbour, at the west end of Scolt Head Island and it was decided that the ILB would be better able to assist. The lifeboat launched at 07:57, keeping inshore and entering Norton Creek via Burnham Overy harbour. The ILB arrived on scene at 08:20 to find the casualty aground on the marsh top with blocked jets after the occupants had attempted to drive the vessel into deeper water. A tow was soon established and the passage to Brancaster Hard began at 08:27. Arriving at 08:53 the casualty was handed over to the awaiting local Coastguard team.

Weather Cloudy Visibility Good Wind SW 5/6 Sea Slight

7 August 2014

The ILB crew were paged to a reported missing 3 year old child on Wells main beach last seen on the water’s edge. As the crew were mustering at the boathouse, the local lifeguards advised the child had been found safe and had been reunited with her parents. The launch was cancelled and the crew stood down at 11:52.

Latest News

Beer to be brewed for lifeboat appeal

Fri 10 Oct 2014

The Real Ale Shop at Branthill Farm, Holkham has invited local brewers to enter a competition to brew a beer especially for the Shannon Appeal, using Branthill Farms’ finest Maris Otter malted barley.

The candidate beers will be officially tasted and judged by a select panel of lifeboat crew (for which there has been no shortage of volunteers) and the winning ale will be available to purchase from the Real Ale shop, and on-line, from the beginning of November. 

Every bottle of 'Shannon Ale' sold will raise £1 for the appeal so we are hoping for lots of customers.

  The Real Ale Shop

Fund tops fifty thousand following donation by EDP newspaper

Wed 8 Oct 2014

Our Lifeboat Appeal has reached £51,194.66 following a generous donation last night from the EDP, Norfolk's regional newspaper. This means we have reached more than a fifth of our target to raise £250,000 towards a next-generation Shannon-class lifeboat for Wells by the end of 2015.

Nigel Pickover, the editor of the EDP, had promised to "buy the crew a drink" when he visited the station following the flood on December 5th 2013. He returned last night to the Golden Fleece on the quayside where the crew were treated to drinks and a supper and a performance by the Sheringham Shantymen.

The EDP started a flood appeal last December which raised £330,000, helping more than 300 people all along the Norfolk coast rebuild their lives, homes and businesses after the storm surge. Mr Pickover explained that the newspaper is keen to help the RNLI in the region and to support the Wells Shannon Appeal. As a starting point, he then presented Coxswain Allen Frary with a cheque for £2570.20 towards the new boat.

The Sheringham Shantymen, who have been vocal supporters of the RNLI for 25 years now, also pledged £500 for the new lifeboat.

The crew and station officers at Wells are hugely grateful for the support and would like to thank the EDP, the Fleece and the Shantymen for an excellent evening. 

Shannon Lifeboat Cider pressing day

Fri 26 Sep 2014

Lifeboat crew members and the public joined in at Whin Hill Cider in Wells on 21 September to help make a special edition cider in aid of the Wells Lifeboats Shannon Appeal.

Visitors had the chance to use a Victorian cider mill, known as a scratter, and a 150-year old press to produce the juice from apples grown in Whin Hill's own orchard in Stanhoe. The juice is now fermenting in a traditional barrel through the winter.

Mark Jarvis, who runs Whin Hill Cider with his wife Lisa, said: “We are doing everything in the old, traditional way. We are using natural yeasts to ferment it and are hoping to raise £1,000 for the Shannon Appeal."

There should be 200 bottles produced which will be ready next Easter. Each bottle will cost £5 with all the money going towards the appeal. Bottles can be ordered in advance now from Whin Hill Cider or from Howell's Deli on Staithe Street... advance buyers receive a unique card showing the bottle numbers ordered so a bottle or two could make a great Christmas or Birthday gift.

Our thanks to Mark and Lisa for their support... and to all who turned out to help and watch.

It's now a case of wait and see for the Shannon vintage, “You can never tell with cider until is fermented how it is going to turn out, and then there is nothing you can do.", explained Mark.

  Whin Hill Cider


Ian Dye gets waxed to raise money for the Shannon

Fri 19 Sep 2014

Ian getting waxed by (L-R) Rachael Williamson, Caroline Olive and Rachael Olive

Ian getting waxed by (L-R) Rachael Williamson, Caroline Olive and Rachael Olive

Ian Dye, a former fisherman, was looking for ways to raise money for the new lifeboat in Wells but little did he think he'd have to suffer the pain of a body wax in the process.

Ian, who lives in Kings Lynn, has given up fishing and made his hobby of tattooing his main job. He owns Dyed Skin tattoo studio in the centre of Wells-next-the-Sea and it was one of his clients, Rachael Olive, who suggested he might come to her mum's hairdressers Contrasts Hair and Beauty and have a body wax for charity.

Rachael, who is a body piercer and barber, said, “I thought he could get people to sponsor him and I could get my own back and make him suffer like I did when he tattooed me!”

So on Saturday, 6th September, Ian submitted himself to being waxed by Rachael and beautician, Rachael Williamson. Ian said, “I've never had it done before. I'd say the pain is about the same as being tattooed but it's all in aid of a good cause. As a fisherman, being out at sea in heavy weather and something goes wrong, it's good to know the lifeboat and crew are always there when you need them.”

The total raised was £285.00

More news...

The Talk of Wells

Treat yourself and a friend to a lovely meal and an after-dinner speaker at The Globe Inn in Wells on Monday evenings through the winter months. Tickets are £20 per person for a two course meal with a glass of wine, including a £5 donation towards a new all-weather lifeboat for Wells. See our events listing or contact the Globe for more details.

Wells Pattern
Gansey Prize draw

Traditional hand-knitted Wells Gansey by Sara Phillips

Tickets to win a traditional hand-knitted fisherman's gansey are available from the Soap Shop on the quay, the Tourist Information Centre on Staithe Street or at other events around the town. The winning ticket will be chosen at the guild's Christmas Bazaar on 8 November. For tickets by post or more info, click here.

Facebook You can now find us on Facebook

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity, registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). This website is managed and maintained by local volunteers at Wells-next-the-Sea Lifeboat Station and is not the main RNLI site. All text and images copyright (C)2005-2014 RNLI Wells Lifeboat Station, or as indicated, and may not be downloaded, copied or reproduced elsewhere without prior permission of the station or the relevant copyright holder. Site Manager