The boathouse was damaged by the surge tide that affected much of the east coast on the evening of Thursday December 5th 2013. 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 to repair the damage and get things back to normal. Both boats remained operational during the evening.
The pictures here were taken by station volunteers, including Ray West, Martin Emerson and Max Phillips. Video footage from the evening can be seen in the news pages.
All images are copyright RNLI Wells Lifeboat station or as indicated and may not be reproduced, downloaded, printed, transmitted or reposted in any way without the prior written agreement of the station or the relevant copyright holder.