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.
VIP guest drops into the station
10 December 2013
Prime Minister David Cameron with some of the crew at lifeboat station after the flood
Picture courtesy of The Sun/Arthur Edwards, 10 December 2013
Prime Minister David Cameron and local MP Norman Lamb paid a surprise visit to the station on Monday 9 December as part of a brief visit to see the
flood damage and people affected and to talk to the local flood wardens and emergency services. They were met by Coxswain Allen Frary, Lifeboat Operations Manager
Chris Hardy and some members of the crew.
Flooding 5 December 2013
10 December 2013
The boathouse was damaged by the surge tide that affected much of the east coast on the evening of Thursday December 5th. In flood situations,
the boathouse can be cut off from the town and the main doors can be damaged and disabled if not pinned open. As is usual, therefore, a volunteer crew had stood by
at the boathouse during the tide in case the boats were required and to minimise any damage to the boathouse.
With an exceptional height of tide and a large swell, water and waves broke into the boathouse all evening, at one point from both the front and rear
of the building. Some minor equipment was lost or damaged, the ILB shed door was destroyed and carried away and the main doors damaged. Holes were knocked out of
the east wall of the main boat hall and some of the exterior cladding dislodged and twisted. A considerable quantity of debris, shingle and sand were deposited in
As the tide ebbed, the crew work to clear up and remove as much debris as possible and make the boathouse secure. Considerable work was done over the
next few days, and continues to be done, to repair the damage and get things back to normal. Both boats remained operational during the evening although there was a
period when it would not have been possible to launch the ILB. Both boats are available if needed now, the ILB being housed temporarily at the rear of the building.
We will add some pictures and video of the evening and of the subsequent repairs to this site as soon as possible but for now some footage taken on
the evening appears below.
The Christmas Carol Service at the station of the 15th December will go ahead as planned.
Christmas Carol Service at the boathouse - 15th December
26 November 2013
The station will be holding its popular annual Christmas Carol Service in the boathouse on 15th December, starting at 6.30pm. All are welcome to join us...
make sure you wrap up warmly if the weather's cold.
3 December 2013 16:12
Humber Coastguard paged for the Wells Lifeboat to render assistance to the fishing vessel Isabelle Kathleen LN 74 which was
disabled 5 miles north-west of Cromer. The boat's skipper was of the opinion that his gear was either caught on an obstruction or he had fouled the propeller with a rope. The
crew were paged at 16:12 with the ALB launching outside the boathouse at 16:24. The lifeboat arrived on scene at 17:27 by which time the fishing boat's crew had managed to
clear the obstruction. However the boat had suffered significant damage to her steering gear and rudder and was unable to make way under her own power. The lifeboat took the
casualty under tow at 17:42 and headed back towards Wells. The casualty vessel was safely moored in Wells Outer Harbour at 20:45 and the ALB re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for
service by 22:00. Weather: Fair. Visbility: Good. Wind SW 3/4. Sea: Slight
2 October 2013 17:03
A request to launch the ILB was received at 16:41 following a report of two persons possibly cut off by the tide on Scolt Head Island. The
crew were paged at 16:54, following a delay while further information was gathered on the position of the casualties. Launching at 17:03, the ILB proceeded to Burham Overy
harbour where the local coastguard team helped to direct it to the two persons just south of Norton creek. With the casualties onboard at 17:25, it was decided to put them
ashore at Overy quayside rather than a return sea passage to Wells. Arriving at the quayside at 17:45, the two persons were handed into the care of the Coastguard team for
onward transportation. The ILB arrived back to station at 18:10 and was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 18:25. Weather: Overcast. Visbility: Poor. Wind E 4/5. Sea: Slight/Moderate
1 October 2013 17:25
Humber Coastguard paged for the launch of the ILB at 17:25 after the Harbour Master had sighted two Laser dinghies capsized in broken water on the west side of the harbour channel. Both dinghies had been dismasted and the two occupants had been in the water for
some time. The crew were paged at 17:27. Launching at 17:35, the ILB was on scene at 17:37 to find both casualties had made shore safely and had also managed to retrieve their vessels. With the casualties on board the ILB, the lifeboat towed the
dinghies back to the lifeboat house for later recovery. The lifeboat was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 18:15.
Weather: Fair. Visbility: Good. Wind E 4/5. Sea: Slight/Moderate
5 September 2013 06:00
Humber Coastguard contacted the station at 21:29 on the evening of Wednesday 4th September to inform that the 60ft ex-Humber sailing
barge John William on passage from Goole to Sandwich in Kent had suffered engine failure and had anchored approximately two miles NNW of Wells harbour. The weather
was fair and the sea calm. With the vessel's draft of 5ft and the tide already at 2 hours ebb it was decided to delay launching the ALB until the following morning's tide
unless the situation deteriorated during the night. The crew were paged to muster at the boathouse at 0545 Thursday morning. Launching at 06:00 the ALB arrived on scene at
06:16 to assist with the recovery of casualty's anchor and to set a tow. At 06:50 passage began inbound to Wells harbour where the John William was safely berthed
alongside the outer harbour pontoons at 07:45. The lifeboat returned to station at 08:00 and was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 09:00. Weather: Fair.
Visibility: Poor. Wind: SSE 1. Sea: Calm
Wells All Weather Lifeboat arrives alongside the John William, 06:16, 5 September 2013.
The barge's crew and three crew from the lifeboat retrieving the John William's anchor
Nearly there with the anchor... and getting ready to set up the tow
Under tow, heading for Wells
The John William safely berthed on the Outer Harbour pontoons
2 September 2013 09:26
Humber Coastguard paged for an ILB launch following a 999 call stating that four body boarders were in difficulties offshore in Holkham Bay.
The crew paged at 09:26. As the lifeboat was launching at 09:34 the first informant had reported one person had managed to make shore. Arriving at the casualties' position at
09:47 it was found that the remaining three persons had also made shore. Humber Coastguard requested the crew to assess whether any medical treatment was required and to await
the arrival of the local Coastguard unit. Once the Coastguard team were on scene at 09:55 the ILB was released to return to station. Arriving back 10:14, the lifeboat was
re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 10:38. Weather: Fair. Visbility: Good. Wind SW 3-4. Sea: Slight
23 August 2013 17:41
Humber Coastguard requested the launch of the ILB at 17:41 to two persons reported cut off by the tide in Brancaster harbour.
The lifeboat left the boathouse at 17:52 with the station's Softrak launching vehicle for a low water launch at 18:06 in Holkham Bay. As the lifeboat got underway, the
crew were informed by the local Coastguard team on scene at Brancaster that the two casualties had made their way back to shore. Humber Coastguard requested the ILB to
continue toward Brancaster harbour checking the shoreline en-route to ensure there were no other persons in danger. One walker was seen on Scolt Head and advised of the
flooding tide and said he would make his own way off the island. On reaching Brancaster harbour the local Coastguard team informed the ILB that there were no other persons
visible either to the north of the channel or on the south side of Scolt Head. The ILB was stood down at 18:38, arrived back at station at 19:23 and was re-housed, re-fuelled
and ready for service at 19:42. Weather: Fair. Visbility: Good. Wind SSE 3. Sea: Slight
23 August 2013 14:25
Humber Coastguard received a 999 call reporting three swimmers in some difficulties at the seaward end of Stiffkey/Warham Hole channel. An ILB page request
was received at 14:24 with the crew being paged at 14:25. The lifeboat with the station's Softrak launching vehicle left the boathouse at 14:33 for a low water launch in Holkham Bay. Prior to the ILB
launching at 14:50, Humber Coastguard informed the crew that the first informant had reported the swimmers were now safely ashore but were in a state of distress. The ILB was requested to continue to
the casualties' position to carry out an assessment and to ascertain whether any medical treatment was required. Arriving in the vicinity at 15:04 the crew could see in the distance a group making their
way across the sand towards the Stiffkey outfall pipeline. The local Coastguard team on scene confirmed that these were in fact the casualties and that they would monitor the group and intercept them
once they had reached the marsh head. Prior to the ILB departing, the local Coastguard team then reported another group of people on the foreshore and requested that the crew inform them that the tide
would soon be flooding and ask them to return to safety. Having spoken to the second group, the ILB was then released at 15:41 for a low water recovery at Wells harbour entrance. Arriving back at
station at 16:24, the ILB was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 17:00. Weather: Fair. Visbility: Good. Wind SSE 2. Sea: Calm
21 August 2013 19:54
A concerned member of the public had informed Humber Coastguard that there was a party of eight persons which included several
young children cut off by the tide in Holkham Bay. A launch request for the ILB was received at 19:54 with the lifeboat launching at 20:02. As the ILB approached the
location given by the first informant a group of people were seen to be making their way to nearby sand dunes. At 20:11 it was confirmed the group were the persons
reported cut off and they were now safely ashore. The ILB was stood down at 20:12, returned to station at 20:23 and was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 20:43.
Weather: Fair. Visbility: Good. Wind SW 2. Sea: Slight
19 August 2013 14:29
Humber Coastguard contacted the station at 14:29 to ask if it was possible to carry out a search of the beach and shoreline using the
station's Softrak vehicle after the parents of a ten year old child reported her missing to the local NCI lookout. She had been missing for approximately thirty minutes.
On reaching the NCI lookout to collect one of the parents to help identify the child, information was received that the she had been found and been re-united with the
other parent. The Softrak was stood down at 14:38 and returned to station.
17 August 2013 15:37
A request for an ILB launch was received following a 999 call reporting two children on an inflatable toy in Holkham Bay being
blown offshore in a fresh SW wind. The crew were paged at 15:39 with the lifeboat launching at 15:49. As the ILB left Wells harbour, an inflatable toy was sighted and recovered.
The description was passed to Humber Coastguard who informed the crew that this was not the one reported in the first instance. Continuing with a search along the shoreline and
with nothing further sighted the ILB was tasked to carry out a search north of the harbour entrance. With concern growing for the two children it was decided at 16:04 to page
for the ALB to assist with the search. At 16:08 Humber Coastguard informed the ILB that the inflatable recovered earlier was in fact the one reported by the first informant and
that the children were now safely ashore. Both the ILB and ALB were stood down at 16:09 with the ILB returning to station at 16:16. The lifeboat was re-housed, re-fuelled and
ready for service at 16:32. Weather: Fair. Visbility: Good. Wind SW 4/5. Sea: Slight
10 August 2013 10:54
Following the completion of an exercise with a D-Class capsize boat and on the point of re-housing, Humber Coastguard requested the launch of the ILB following a
999 call from a member of the public who reported that two children were in difficulties in the harbour channel on a strong ebbing tide. As the ILB arrived on scene at 10:56, the harbour Beach Patrol boat
informed the crew that they had the two children onboard and were intending to land the casualties back to shore where their parents were waiting. The ILB crew checked that no medical treatment was
required before returning to station at 11:16 where the lifeboat was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 11:40. Weather: Fair. Visbility: Good. Wind SW 3. Sea: Calm
6 August 2013 17:17
Humber Coastguard received a 999 call reporting that a four year old child was missing in marshes at Burnham Overy harbour on a flooding tide.
A launch request for the ILB was received at 17:16 with the crew being paged at 17:17. As the ILB was preparing to launch Humber Coastguard requested that the crew standby as it was
thought the child had be located. Once confirmed, the ILB was stood down at 17:28.
24 July 2013 21:00
Humber Coastguard had received a 999 telephone call from a member of the public on Stiffkey Greenways reporting hearing calls for
help from within the marsh north of the camp site. The crew were paged at 21:00 with the ILB launching at 21:08. While waiting for the arrival of the ILB, two kayakers and
a paddle boarder, one being an off-duty RNLI lifeguard, had identified a group of persons cut off by the tide on the marsh and gone out to them to reassure them that help was on
its way. With the local Coastguard team on scene, the ILB, after negotiating a channel over the High Sand in fading light, was guided to a group of five children and two
adults. With the casualties safely onboard at 21:43 the ILB transported the group through the creek system to the waiting Coastguard team where following assessment no medical
treatment was required. The ILB departed at 21:54 and returned to station and was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service again at 22:45.
Weather: Fair. Visbility: Good. Wind SSE 2. Sea: Slight
16 July 2013 22:46
The owner of a yacht moored in Wells harbour requested assistance from Humber Coastgaurd after he had what he thought to be a stroke. The
crew were paged at 22:46 and the ILB launched at 22:57. Once alongside, a crewmember was transferred to assess the casualty's condition. During this period a paramedic and
ambulance had arrived on the quayside and the decision was taken to transfer the person to the visitor pontoons. The casualty was transferred by the lifeboat and handed over
to the ambulance crew at 23:23 for medical attention and evaluation. The ILB was asked to remain on scene in case there was the need to return to the yacht
to bring the casualty's dog ashore. After discussion, the ILB returned to the moored yacht to bring the vessel to the pontoons so that both the owner and dog had easy shore
access. At 00:51 the casualty was released by the ambulance crew and escorted back on-board his boat. Returning to station at 00:56 the ILB was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready
for service at 01:13. Weather: Part cloudy. Visbility: Good. Wind ESE 2. Sea: Slight
04 July 2013 14:55
Humber Coastguard paged for an ILB launch at 14:55 to two persons, one with a dog, thought to be cut off by the flooding tide on the
marshes in Burnham Overy harbour. The crew were paged at 15:58. Launching at 15:06 the lifeboat proceeded toward Burnham harbour arriving at 15:27 to find there was
insufficient water in the creek system to reach the casualties' position. Wells Coastguard team were at this time on scene and monitoring the situation. At 15:29 the
Coastguard team reported that the person with the dog had managed to cross the creek and was now safe but they were having difficulties sighting the second person. The ILB
was asked to remain on scene, when at 15:37, the second person was also seen to have crossed the creek to safety. Departing at 15:45, the ILB returned to station and was
re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 16:25. Weather: Part cloudy. Visbility: Good. Wind SW 3. Sea: Slight
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