Wells Lifeboat  RNLI Lifeboats Wells Norfolk UK
Wells Lifeboat

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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

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

Record returns from RNLI Golf Day

Tue 2 Sep 2014

The winners (l-r): Lindsay Woods, Kevin Pratt, Liz and Bernie Vaughan, with Wells Lifeboat Operations Manager Chris Hardy

The winners (l-r): Lindsay Woods, Kevin Pratt, Liz and Bernie Vaughan, with Wells Lifeboat Operations Manager Chris HardyJM

56 golfers in 14 teams made a success of our RNLI Golf Day at Weston Park Golf Club on the outskirts of Lenwade on 28th August. The teams competed for a crystal glass trophy and a selection of other prizes. The match was won by Bernie Vaughan, Liz Vaughan, Lindsay Woods and Kevin Pratt, with a net score of 59.8. The team from Barclays, namely Tom Hall, Paul Knights, Ian Munford and Scott Symonds came second with 61.5 and third were David Graveling, Nigel Stewart, Brian Stops and Andy Bullen from Sheringham Golf Club with 61.9 net.

A prize raffle and charity auction raised £1000 and Barclays Bank has offered to match this with an additional donation. Overall, the event has raised a record £3800 with some donations still to come in.

Organisers John Mitchell, Wells Lifeboat Press Officer, and Sue Edwards were delighted with the support for the event both from players and from businesses and individuals offering sponsorship and prizes. The competiton originally started in 2003 and the crystal glass trophy was donated in 2005 by the late Lady Gwenneth Mackintosh, President of the Norwich Ladies Lifeboat Guild.

Painting prize draw winner

Tue 2 Sep 2014

Lehr Perowne from "The Waterfront" B&B in Wells won our prize draw for an original painting by local artist Linda Pattrick, after her winning ticket was chosen on 31 August. Lehr who is "delighted with the picture" is already a regular supporter of our Shannon appeal with a collecting box at her B&B All 500 tickets for the picture raffle were sold, raising £500 towards our new lifeboat. Many thanks to all who entered and to Linda Pattrick for donating the picture and got helping us to sell the tickets and promote the appeal at her exhibition.

More news...

Wells Pattern
Gansey Prizedraw

Traditional hand-knitted Wells Gansey by Sara Phillips

Local knitter Sara Phillips has donated a traditional fisherman's gansey for a prize draw in aid of the Shannon Appeal. Knitted in the round on multiple needles, the sweater features a yoke pattern that combines the traditional Norfolk rig-and-fur bands with marriage lines and coils of rope based on the ganseys worn by the Wells lifeboat crew in the 1920s. For your chance to win this unique, warm and durable sweater, click here.

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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