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.
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Rendezvousing on the west side of the harbour channel, the Softrak transferred the pump to the ILB at 21:23 and the lifeboat was back alongside the Almare at 21:30. The two crew members on-board had by this time stabilised the situation and with the water level now down the skipper began to affect a temporary repair to stem further flooding.
With sufficient water at the start of the flood tide to enter the harbour channel, at 21:49 the ILB began a slow tow to the outer harbour where both vessels were met by harbour staff at 22:27. Once safely secured alongside and with the harbour's portable pump now on-board the casualty, the ILB was released to return to station. Following recovery the ILB was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 23:11.
After a debrief, it is believed that the skipper had been told on leaving Grimsby that he could access Wells harbour at any state of the tide which had resulted in the vessel running aground. Although the skipper managed to get his vessel to seaward again, the grounding probably resulted in damage to the yacht's drop keel and keel box allowing the water ingress.
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At 09:15 four lifeboat crewmembers were placed onboard the yacht and set about the task of bringing the sails and rigging on-board and recovering and lashing the broken mast to the side of the vessel so that a tow could be connected. At 09:45 preparations to tow were complete and the lifeboat and yacht proceeded towards Wells.
The lifeboat arrived at the entrance to Wells Harbour at 10.25 and as the tide was ebbing out strongly and with insufficient water for the lifeboat to proceed up the channel, the tow was transferred to the Wells harbour RIB William T which then towed the casualty to a safe mooring at the outer harbour. With her work completed the lifeboat departed the casualty at 10:30 and proceeded to Holkham Bay for a low water recovery, going ashore at 11:05.
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Artist Shirley Carnt's new painting is based on filming undertaken on Holkham Beach last year for a Lloyds bank advertisement featuring a horse-drawn lifeboat launch. The painting is to be donated to the station but will be on show at Shirley's summer exhibition at her studio at The Coastguard House, The Green, Thornham, PE36 6NH, which runs from 10am to 6pm every day from 20th August to 10th September 2016.
Five Wells crewmembers joined to help with the filming with the historic former Upgang and Whitby lifeboat William Riley. The television commerical along with posters based on still images from it received wide exposure last year.
Horses played a major role in launching lifeboats around the UK right up to the 1930s. At Wells, horses were rounded up from local farms to tow the lifeboat on its carriage out over Holkham Beach to the sea. Committee notes dating back to 1869, when the station was formed, show it was not always easy to persuade owners to let their horses be used. In Novemer 1872, the minutes note:
Mr. Lord having refused to furnish horses to take the boat down to Holkham Beach on the 15th inst. It was resolved that a letter be written to Mr. Walker asking him if he would provide horses when required for carriage of the Boat.
and again in 1876,
Proposed by C. Middleton, seconded by R.R. Rump that all the farms in Wells be asked if they are willing to supply horses to transport the Life Boat to any point required.
And in Sept 1877:
Proposed by Mr. J. Wilden that Misters H.R. Rump, R.R. Rump, H.A. Dewing and J. Andrews wait upon the farmers above or near this beach to know if they will supply horses to convey the Life Boat to any place required.
It seems that farmers were unwilling to volunteer their animals for free:
Jan 1878. Mr. Charles Middleton having offered the use of eight horses for one year to convey the Boat to any place required at the cost of 10s for each horse.
Nov 1879. C. Middleton Esq. has agreed to find horses to convey the Boat to any place for the sum of ten shillings per hour and two shillings and six pence for each driver.
Wells was the last RNLI lifeboat station to use horses to launch its lifeboat, with a tractor finally being installed to replace them in 1936.Visit Shirley Carnt's website
After 17 months fund-raising, we reached our target to raise £250,000 towards a new Shannon-class lifeboat for Wells and the North Norfolk coast.
We are hugely grateful to everyone who has donated, fund-raised, helped and supported us both locally and from right across the UK and even further afield. Your contribution is appreciated and will help to save lives and keep our volunteeer crews safe in the years to come.
And here's just some of the people and events that helped to make it happen... thank you page
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