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

Isabelle Kathleen, 9 November 2014

Isabelle Kathleen under tow back to Wells, 9 NovemberNH

9 November 2014

The ALB was paged for a low water launch to assist the 11m MFV Isabelle Kathleen which had left Wells on the morning tide on passage from Welsl to Oban but had suffered fuel problems and engine failure and was now disabled some 25nm north of Wells. The lifeboat launched from Holkham beach at 13:40 to rendezvous with the fishing boat. Arriving at 15:25, it was found the casualty vessel had no bullring or cleats and therefore a bridle had to be set-up from the two stern posts before a tow back to Wells could be commenced at 15:50. Arriving outside the harbour at 18:20 near high water on the evening tide, the vessel was taken up to the quay and safely secured alongside. The lifeboat was recovered and refuelled by 21:00.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind W2 Sea Slight

8 November 2014

Wells ILB was launched at the request of Humber Coastguard to an 18ft open powerboat Boy Patrick with two people on-board in Wells Harbour which had fouled its propellor while departing its mooring. The ILB launched in darkness at 17:00 with the wind gusting F6-7 from the south west and a strong flood tide. The ILB arrived alongside at 17:05 and worked to free the vessel. The crew then escorted Boy Patrick under her own power to the town slipway where the crew assisted the owners to recover the boat onto its trailer as they had originally intended. The ILB was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service by 17:54.

Weather Squally Visibility Good Wind SW6-7 Sea Slight

Latest News

Vintage photographer visits the station

Mon 19 Jan 2015

Newcastle-based photographer Jack Lowe visited Wells lifeboat station today as part of a project to photograph all the RNLI's lifeboat stations using his 110 year old Victorian wet plate camera, producing stunning 12x10" images directly onto glass.

The collodion process dates from 1850 and involves creating a film emulsion by pouring chemicals onto a piece of clean glass which is then sensitised to light before being transferred into the camera. After exposure, developer is poured onto the glass to reveal the image which is then stopped with water and finally immersed in fixer, producing a final 'Ambrotype' positive image.

To make this possible, Jack has converted an old ambulance into a mobile darkroom. Each image took around 20 minutes to prepare, shoot and develop, with Jack making two trips between the camera in front of the lifeboat house and the darkroom positioned on the top of the beach bank for each one.

After two years of preparation and planning, this is the first week of Jack's project and Wells is the seventh station to be photographed. The whole task with 237 lifeboat stations will take a minimum of three years to complete.

The images created at Wells today include the view from the boathouse, a portrait of the Coxswain and a group photograph of the crew in front of the boat and boathouse.

Limited edition digital prints from the glass images will be available for purchase from Jack's website. The project aims to document today's RNLI and act as a fundraiser. It is hoped that an exhibition of the original images can be staged once the project is complete.

  The Lifeboat Station Project website

Jack's mobile darkroom, a converted ambulance, on the beach bank

Jack's mobile darkroom, a converted ambulance, on the beach bank

Setting up for a portrait of the coxswain

Setting up for a portrait of the coxswain

Getting the crew organised in front of the boathouse

Getting the crew organised in front of the boathouse

Jack composing his photograph, with a steadying hand from coxswain Allen Frary

Jack composing his photograph, with a steadying hand from coxswain Allen Frary

Portrait of the coxswain

Portrait of the coxswain

See all news...

Upcoming events

We've already a busy diary for 2015 with the station's usual open days and events along with others to help raise money towards our new Shannon-class lifeboat. Already scheduled are further Talk of Wells evenings at the Globe inn, a Mexican evening at Binham village hall in March, a series of bike rides with Cycle Sportives UK and the incredible Norfolk Superhero challenge which will be raising funds for the appeal in June.

For more details, keep an eye on our events page.

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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