Wells Lifeboat, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk RNLI Lifeboats


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

11 April 2014
ALBWells Lifeboat was launched to bring in the 32ft motor cruiser Lucky with two people on board. The vessel had earlier been rescued by Mablethorpe's Atlantic-class lifeboat after it had been beached, beam on in surf, due to engine failure. Skegness Lifeboat had taken over the tow from Mablethorpe and brought the boat on towards Wells. Wells lifeboat met the Skegness boat at 16:00, two miles west of the Bridgirdle buoy to complete the tow into Wells. The Lucky was safely berthed at Wells quay at 17:15 and the lifeboat returned to station.
28 March 2014
ALB/ILBHumber Coastguard requested the Wells lifeboat to assist the 15m fishing vessel Nauru on passage to Scarborough and unsure of her position, approximately 10 miles North from Cromer. The ALB left the boathouse at 10:00 for a low water launch at Holkham. Humber Coastguard subsequently informed the lifeboat that the casualty had lost power and might lose her batteries and radio communications and that they were endeavouring to get the services of a tug to take Nauru in tow. At 11:24 the Nauru managed to restart her engine and briefly resumed passage towards the Humber before her engine failed again. The lifeboat arrived on scene at 12:02, passing a towline and making a slow passage towards Wells, arriving off Wells bar at 15:20.

At 15:40 Nauruís skipper advised that he was making water and his pump was unreliable and requested to be taken into Wells, having advised that his vessel would be able to take the ground. Wells ILB was launched to assist with mooring the vessel due to its size and draft, which left little room for maneouvre even on the top of the tide. The Nauru was safely moored to the east of the outer harbour by 16:55. Both lifeboats then returned to station and were recovered and re-housed by 18:00. Weather: Fair. Visibility: Moderate. Wind ENE 4. Sea: Slight/Moderate

Fishing vessel Nauru under tow, 28 March 2014

Fishing vessel Nauru under tow, north of the Sheringham Shoal windfarm
Nauru under tow, 28 March 2014

Nauru under tow, inside Wells harbour
26 February 2014
ILBHumber Coastguard requested the launch of the ILB after a Blakeney seal trip boat reported spotting what may have been a body on the beach at Blakeney Point. On reaching Blakeney Point, the lifeboat crew were able confirm that it was indeed a body of a woman, believed to be in her mid 60s. The body was recovered and taken to Morston where the lifeboat crew liaised with police and local coastguard officers. The lifeboat was back on station and once more ready for service at 17:30. Weather: Fair. Visibility: Good. Wind SW 2. Sea: Slight
7 January 2014
ALBThe station was paged for an immediate launch of the ALB at 19:45. As the crew were mustering at the boathouse Humber Coastguard informed the station's LOM that a report had been received of an incident involving a downed USAF helicopter near Cley beach. Launching on the very first of the flood tide at 20:07, the ALB made passage to seaward and the search area. As more information was received, it became clear the helicopter had crashed on the landward side of Cley beach with all four of the helicopter crew accounted for. The ALB was stood down at 20:23. Returning to station at 20:50, the lifeboat was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 21:30. Weather: Part cloud. Visibility: Good. Wind SW 4/5. Sea: Slight/Moderate
3 December 2013
ALBHumber 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
ILBA 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
ILBHumber 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


VIP guest drops into the station
10 December 2013

Prime Minister David Cameron visits Wells Lifeboat station, 9 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 the building.

As the tide ebbed, the crew worked 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 on the 15th December will go ahead as planned.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a registered charity, number 209603.
The Wells-next-the-Sea Station Website is maintained by local volunteers not the RNLI. 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.