Wells Lifeboat  RNLI Lifeboats Wells Norfolk UK
Wells Lifeboat

Launch A Memory Wells

Add a loved one's name to our new lifeboat...

Click here to apply

Frequently asked questions

RNLI Wells Lifesavers Fund

Our station is as busy as ever during Covid but we can't do our usual fundraising events! Click here to help us out

Facebook
Find us
on Facebook

Welcome to RNLI Wells

The RNLI Lifeboat Station in Wells-next-the-Sea 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.

New boathouse build

New boathouse build
Updated 23/6/2021

The second phase of our new boathouse project is underway, with the first parts of the frame for the new building being erected. See boathouse build pages for more.

Launch A Memory

Launch A Memory Wells

Add a loved one's name to our new lifeboat...

click here to apply

Frequently asked questions

RNLI Wells Lifesavers Fund

RNLI Wells lifesavers fund

Recent Services

26 July 2021
12:06

Wells inshore lifeboat was paged by Humber Coastguard to go to the assistance of three persons reported being swept out to sea in the approaches to Burnham Overy garbour. Th e ILB launched outside the boathouse at 12:15 on the ebbing tide and headed down the harbour channel towards Burnham Overy. While en-route, the sailing vessel Helena Johns in the vicinity had managed to pick up two persons from the water.

The lifeboat arrived at the harbour entrance at 12:26 and went alongside the Helena Johns to pick up the two swimmers (father and son) who had been in the water. Having ascertained they were safe and well, the ILB headed to the shore at Gun Hill where other family members were located. Concerns were for another family member who had also entered the water to aid the two swimmers however it was ascertained that he had already returned to the shore. Th elifeboat crew remained with the family until the local Coastguard team arrived and, with all well, left at 12:50 to return to the lifeboat station. Returning on the last of the ebbing tide, the ILB was ashore at 13:03 and washed down, rehoused and refuelled by 13:40.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind SE3 Sea Slight

22 July 2021
19:06

The all-weather lifeboat was requested to go to the aid of the 30ft motor cruiser Pamela Ma with three people onboard, which had broken down one mile to the north of Brancaster harbour entrance. The lifeboat launched outside the boathouse on the ebbing tide at 19:20 and arrived on scene at 20:05. A tow was rigged and the boats arrived back at Wells harbour where the tow was shortened up in the channel before the cruiser was safely moored aongside in the Outer Harbour at 21:45. The lifeboat then returned to the station and was refuelled, rehoused and ready again for service at 23:00.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind SE2 Sea Slight

19 July 2021
10:35

The Coastguard paged Wells' inshore lifeboat for the third time in a day, asking for the crew to be placed on immediate readiness to assist three people who had found themselves on the wrong side of Wells harbour channel as darkness fell. Arriving at the boathouse, the crew quickly identifed the persons on Bob Hall sands opposite the NCI Coastwatch lookout shining the lights on their mobile phones. With very little water left in the harbour, the ILB launched into the harbour channel at 10:48 and met up with the casualties at 10:53. The three persons were brought onboard and ferried to the beach in front of the boathouse where they were met by the Wells Coastguard team and the lifeboat recovered and rehoused.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind SE2 Sea Calm

19 July 2021
17:14

The inshore lifeboat was paged following a report of a person clinging to a buoy in the entrance channel to Overy harbour off Gun Hill on the ebbing tide. The inshore lifeboat launched at 17:24 outside the boathouse. In the interim, the first informant had decided to go to the assistance of the person in the water, leaving a child on the foreshore with members of the public but soon realised the decision was the wrong one; fortunately, they managed to get a footing onto a spit of sand on the far side of the channel. Another member of the public entered the water to assist but also realised the danger and returned to shore.

Hunstanton Hovercraft and coasguard teams from Wells and Hunstanton had also been tasked but, arriving at 17:38, the ILB quickly located the person clinging to the last starboard buoy at the habour entrance and the second person on the sand spit up to their waist in water. Both were taken aboard and transferred to the foreshore and into the care of the local coastguard team. Although both people were uninjured, the swimmer was exhausted at the time of being rescued and in considerable danger of having been carried out to sea by the strong ebb current.

The ILB was released at 17:55 and was rehoused and refuelled by 18:45.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind E3 Sea Slight

19 July 2021
11:14

The inshore lifeboat crew were paged to a report of person cut off by the tide but the launch was cancelled while the crew en-route as it was learned that the person had made their own way ashore.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind E3 Sea Slight

9 July 2021
08:12

Humber Coastguard paged Wells all-weather lifeboat to rendezvous with the fishing vessel Comrade with two fishermen onboard who had had an incident onboard their own boat Brooke Erin and had unfortunately inhaled Hydrogen Sulphide gas from defective batteries in near still sea conditions.

The fishermen had contacted Comrade by mobile phone to raise the alarm and request immediate assistance. Another Wells fishing boat Predator was nearby and quickly took the two fisherman on-board away from the Brooke Erin. Comrade took the Brooke Erin under tow and the two fishermen were transferred from Predator before heading for Wells. Wells all-weather lifeboat lauched outside the boathouse at 08:29 and proceeded to meet up with Comrade at 09:02. The two fishermen were taken onto the lifeboat and assessed. Although physically alright, they were suffering from the effects of gas inhalation and both were put on oxygen. The lifeboat proceeded inwards at 09:05 and arrived in the outer harbour pontoons at 09:37 where the two fisherman were transferred to he boathouse to await the arrival of an ambulance. Paramedics arrived at 09:45 and after further medical evaluation it was felt best if the fishermen went to hospital to ensure they had not any lasting effects from the gas inhalation. The lifeboat returned to station and was ashore at 09:55 and refuelled, rehoused and ready for service again at 11:15. The two fishermen were subsequently released from hospital that evening to recover at home.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NW2 Sea Slight

ILB bringing Kata No 1 in, 4/7/21

ILB bringing Kata No 1 in, 4/7/21

4 July 2021
6:35

At 06:35 on Sunday 4th July, Humber Coastguard paged Wells all-weather lifeboat regarding a 22-foot bilge keel yacht Kata No 1 with 3 persons onboard taking on water on passage from Boston to Wells. The crew had made a Mayday call and Hunstanton Lifeboat was immediately tasked and had managed to plug the leak and pump the yacht dry before taking the casualty under tow. The intention was to transfer the tow to Wells to bring the yacht into Wells harbour on the next tide in the afternoon.

With Hunstanton lifeboat making good progress in calm conditions, the decision was taken to launch the inshore lifeboat instead of the all-weather boat. The ILB launched outside the boathouse on the last of the ebb at 07:35 and rendezvoused with Hunstanton lifeboat and the casualty vessel at 07:55 where they then proceeded to a safe anchorage in Holkham Bay. At 08:16 with the yacht safely at anchor and the crew all well, both lifeboats left the scene and proceeded back to their respective stations. The crew mustered again at 11:30 and the ILB launched on the first of the tide outside the boathouse, arriving at the yacht at 12:30. A tow was rigged and the ILB made its way into Wells, with the yacht safely moored on the Quay pontoons at 13:19. The ILB was rehoused, refuelled and ready again for service at 14:00.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind SW3 Sea Slight

ILB and speedboat back at the quay with local coastguard in attendance, 10/5/21

Back alongside at the quay with local coastguard in attendance, 10/5/21

10 May 2021
17:42

Wells Coastwatch alerted Humber Coastguard to a 6m speedboat with two persons onboard that had experienced engine failure in the outer harbour and had drifted in gusting offshore winds onto Bob Hall Sands opposite the Coastwatch lookout. Continuing efforts to restart the outboard engine were unsuccessful and with the craft already aground as high water approached, there was concern that the boat and its crew would not be able to return to safety once the water started to drain quickly off Bob Hall sands as the tide ebbed. The coastguard paged the Wells inshore lifeboat at 17:42 and the ILB with a crew of three launched outside the boathouse at 17:54. With the speedboat in sight, the ILB was quickly on scene and it was decided the best course of action was to establish a tow, refloat the speedboat and take it back to the safety of the quay. Both boats arrived safely alongside the town pontoons at 18:26 and the lifeboat was back ashore 18:36 and rehoused and ready again for service at 19:00.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind S5 Sea Slight

Thalmia brought in on the last of the tide, 6/5/21

Lifeboat with 'Thalmia' on tow on the bar, 6/5/21

Thalmia brought in on the last of the tide, 6/5/21

Lifeboat with 'Thalmia' on tow on the bar, 6/5/21

Thalmia brought in on the last of the tide, 6/5/21

'Thalmia' brought in and passing the boathouse on the last of the tide, 6/5/21

6 May 2021
15:23

Wells all-weather lifeboat was paged by Humber Coastguard to assist a 9.7m yacht Thalmia which was passage between Lowestoft and Wells with one person onboard. The yacht had been under power, with light winds from the north-west, and had picked up a rope that had become entangled around her propeller disabling the craft.

The lifeboat launched at 15:38 on high-water and proceeded towards the last position of the yacht which was offshore between Salthouse and Weybourne. The lifeboat sighted the yacht at 16:20 and went alongside the craft which by this time had drifted a further two miles eastward in the seaway. The lifeboat put a crewmember onboard and assessed the situation. With the headwind expected to remain light overnight, the best course of action was decided to tow the vessel to Wells. The tow commenced at 16:50 and the lifeboat and yacht arrived off the harbour entrance at 18:50 where they just managed to get across the bar on the last of the ebbing tide and safely into the harbour. The yacht was made fast on a swinging mooring and the crewmember was transferred back to the lifeboat which then went ashore for recovery at 19:20.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NW2 Sea Slight

Latest News

Annnual lifeboat services returns - 22 August 2021

Tue 6 Jul 2021

60th annual lifeboat service to take place 22/8/2021

60th annual lifeboat service to take place 22/8/2021


We're delighted to confirm that an annual mainstay of our events calendar will be back on Sunday 22nd August with our 60th annual lifeboat service at Wells quayside, after being cancelled last year due to the pandemic. It is the only event on this year's calendar so far but it still feels wonderful for crew, supporters, residents and visitors to be able to get back together again.

If you'd like to join in, please arrive on the quayside a bit before 6.30pm. Both lifeboats will launch from the boathouse at 6.20pm and run up to the pontoons on the quay for a service with readings and hymns lasting approximately 45 minutes. They will be joined by a floating congregation of small boats with music provided by Fakenham Town Band.

A collection for the RNLI will be taken during the service and by the inshore lifeboat for those afloat or moored on the pontoons.

 

Launch A Memory comes to Wells

Mon 7 Jun 2021

An opportunity for a loved one's name to be carried on the new Wells lifeboat...

An opportunity for a loved one's name to be carried on the new Wells lifeboat...

Crew and inshore lifeboat on the new ramp at the launch of Launch A Memory Wells

Crew and inshore lifeboat on the new ramp at the launch of Launch A Memory Wells

Fiona, Dorothy and Rob MacCallum with the crew and some of Campbell's photographs from the boathouse

Fiona, Dorothy and Rob MacCallum with the crew and some of Campbell's photographs from the boathouse
JS

Fiona, Rob and Dorothy MacCallum with members of Wells lifeboat crew and the inshore lifeboat

Fiona, Rob and Dorothy MacCallum with members of Wells lifeboat crew and the inshore lifeboat
JS

The late Campbell MacCallum (center, blue top) visiting the boathouse in 2018

The late Campbell MacCallum (center, blue top) visiting the boathouse in 2018


Wells' new Shannon lifeboat will carry the names of up to 10,000 people within the white letters and numbers – RNLI 13-46 – on the sides of her hull. The RNLI's Launch A Memory service allows people to celebrate a loved one by adding their name to a lifeboat in return for a donation to help with the running costs of the charity's lifesaving service. Wells' new Shannon has been chosen as the third lifeboat to take part in the scheme and the first in England after new boats being built for Invergorden in Scotland and Cliffden in Ireland.

At a launch on Wells beach this morning, crew members and some of the local people whose loved ones will be among the first names to be be commemorated on the new Shannon met with the local press.

Among them were the family of Campbell MacCallum who for many years was the station's unofficial photographer following an illustrious career as a photographer which started in swinging sixties London. Campbell's photographs have graced the history of the station, his 1979 big set piece 'rescue poster' of crew and boats and other local rescue services travelling around the world and becoming a regular tradition at Wells and other lifeboat stations.

If you'd like to take this opportunity for Wells' new Shannon to carry a name special to you, please visit the RNLI's Launch A Memory pages where you can enter your details. There is a suggested minimum donation of £50 and the funds wil be used to continue running the RNLI's lifesaving rescue service in Wells and at over 200 lifeboat stations around the UK.

Participants can keep up with regular updates on the progress of the new boat as she is built, tested and put into service and will have access to an on-line viewer which shows exactly where on the boat their chosen name will be placed.

  Launch A Memory - Wells... details and entry form

  Some of your questions answered

See all news...

Boathouse Build

New boathouse build
Latest update 19/7/2021

The second phase of our new boathouse project is underway, with the building frame now nearly complete. See boathouse build pages for more information.

The new building will will take around 18 months to complete with work preparing the foundations and piling for the building and ramp having taken place from September 2020 to May 2021.

The building is required to house our forthcoming new Shannon-class lifeboat which was funded in part with a station appeal for £250,000 in 2014-15 and also by the Civil Service charity The Lifeboat Fund with its 150th Anniversary Appeal. We are hugely grateful to everyone who has donated, fund-raised, helped and supported us both locally and across the UK and even further afield. Your contribution is appreciated and will help to save lives and keep our volunteeer crews safe in the years to come. Read more about the station appeal

COVID-19 restrictions

Wells lifeboats and the lifeboat crew remain operational and ready to launch if needed during the coronavirus outbreak. New procedures have been adopted during service calls, training and exercises to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. For example, crews muster outside the boathouse before a service call and only those selected remain on station and boats, equipment and the boathouse are cleaned and sanitised after use.

All public visits to the lifeboat station are cancelled. Please do not enter the boathouse except by prior arrangement.

All our usual public and fund-raising events and activities over the year have also had to be cancelled, including our annual lifeboat service and our open day and open evenings. We're sorry not to be able to meet and chat with you as we usually do and thank you for your support during these difficult times.

Exercise Launches

Our next scheduled exercise launches are shown below. You are welcome to come and watch the lifeboats launch on the beach at the front of the lifeboat house... but please ensure you keep well to one side and that children are supervised. Exercises may be cancelled or rescheduled at short notice due to operational reasons.

Please note that at present there is no public access to the lifeboat station due to coronavirus restrictions. You are welcome to watch the boats launch from the beach beside the lifeboat station which has recently reopened now that the first stage of construction on the new lifeboat station has been completed. Please keep clear of the building site.

Thursday 10 June 18:00
Regular exercise

Thursday 24 June 17:30
Regular exercise

Sunday 11 July 08:00
Regular exercise

Monday 26 July 18:30
Regular exercise

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)2005-2019 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