Wells Lifeboat  RNLI Lifeboats Wells Norfolk UK
Wells Lifeboat

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RNLI Wells Lifesavers Fund

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Wells Beach Safety leaflet

The sands to the west of the harbour entrance now quickly get cut off by the incoming tide. Download our 2022 updated local map and guide for enjoying the coast and beaches at Wells and Holkham... see our Sea Safety Page

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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 20/9/2022

See boathouse build pages for the latest information on our new boathouse building.

Sea Safety Guide

Wells Beach Safety leaflet

The sands to the west of the harbour entrance now quickly get cut off by the incoming tide. Download our 2022 updated local map and guide map and guide for enjoying the coast and beaches at Wells and Holkham... see our Sea Safety Page

RNLI Wells Lifesavers Fund

RNLI Wells lifesavers fund

Recent Services

16 September 2022

Humber Coastguard requested the ILB launch to a windsurfer in difficulty in the sea opposite the lifeboat house. As the crew prepared to launch, however, it was apparent that the windsurfer had been able to swim in towards the beach. Two of the ILB crew in their drysuits waded out to help the windsurfer ashore while a member of the public helped by bringing the board and sail ashore. The windsurfer was well and needed no further assistance.

Weather Rain Visibility Poor Wind NNW6 Sea Moderate

3 September 2022

Wells Inshore Lifeboat was paged to assist two persons on a paddleboard who were reported being swept out to sea between Wells and Scolt Head Island. The ILB launched with a crew of 3 from Holkham beach near low water at 17:28 and proceeded toward the first informant on the beach. In the meantime, a third person had entered the water to swim out to the two persons on the paddleboard and assist them back to the shore. The ILB arrived on scene at 17:35 to find that all three had managed to get safely ashore. They were subsequently met by the local Coastguard team who had also been paged. The ILB was stood down at 17:40 and returned to the low water recovery site. It arrived back at station at 18:08 and was rehoused and was ready again for service at 18:30

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind W2 Sea Slight

26 August 2022

Humber Coastguard requested Wells Inshore Lifeboat to launch to three persons reported cut off by the incoming tide on the seaward side of Scolt Head island. The ILB left the boathouse with the Softrak launching vehicle for a low water launch location on Holkham beach and was in the water by 16:14. The ILB arrived on-scene at the south-western end of Scolt Head island at 16:38 and found two adults and a child trapped on a sand bar by the rising tide. They were quickly brought onto the ILB and taken to safety across the Brancaster channel.

With the ILB still at Scolt Head, the coastguard then asked the boat to assist the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service who were attending a fire on the island by transporting two firemen across to assess the fire. The firemen were collecteed from the hard at Brancaster at 17:09 and dropped off at the island at 17:22. They determined that the fire was out but that more personnel were needed to damp down the area to prevent possible reignition. Two private boats from Brancaster were used to transport the additional personnel while the ILB stood by to ensure their safety. The fire personnel were all safely back ashore by 19:15 and the ILB was then stood down to return to station. The ILB was recovered, rehoused, refuelled and ready for service again at 20:00.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NNE2 Sea Slight

21 August 2022

Wells Inshore Lifeboat was paged to assist a lady who was feeling unwell on the marsh at Sluice Creek in Wells Harbour. The lady had gone up the creek with others in her party in a small boat on the incoming tide but was unable to reboard the boat. The ILB launched with a crew of three at 14:35 outside the boathouse and proceeded towards Sluice Creek, opposite the town quay. Arriving on scene at 14:40, it was ascertained that the lady was well enough to be transferred by the lifeboat to the mainland and she was landed on the public slipway at 14:44 and passed into the care of the waiting local Coastguard team. The ILB was rehoused, refuelled and ready again for service at 15:15.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind W2 Sea Smooth

17 August 2022

Wells lifeboat was tasked by HM Coastguard to assist two people on a 22-foot yacht Kasonoya which had run aground east of Wells. The inshore lifeboat launched at 10.42am and the all-weather lifeboat at 10.44. The inshore lifeboat arrived on scene at 10.49 to find the yacht hard aground on the sand. The all-weather lifeboat arrived at 11:00 and stood off at sea while the ILB assessed the situation. It was quickly determined it would not be possible to tow the yacht off and that it would be best to promptly take the crew off the yacht for their own safety. At 11:15 the ILB took the two persons off the yacht and laid out the yacht's anchor to the north to prevent it moving any further up the sands and then headed back to Wells with the ALB following. The casualties were safely landed at the boathouse at 11:25 and passed over to the local coastguard team. Though cold and wet, neither required medical treatment. The boats were ashore by 11:39 and were subsequently washed down, rehoused and refuelled.

Weather Squally and overcast Visibility Moderate Wind N5 Sea Slight-Moderate

Latest News

Wells' new Shannon heads to London

Thr 22 Sep 2022

Wells' new Shannon-class lifeboat RNLB 13-46 Duke of Edinburgh is to join 150 boats on the River Thames in London this Saturday to commemorate the life and 70-year reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 

The Reflections illuminated flotilla will start by Albert bridge, passing Chelsea bridge at 7pm on Saturday 24 September, Westminster bridge at 19:30 and arriving at Tower Bridge around 20.15. All 150 boats taking part, which will include the royal row barge Gloriana, built for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, will be lit up with white lights, creating a ribbon of light down the river. Illuminated River, the world's longest public artwork, will also be lit with a special display threading tones of purple and silver across nine bridges from Lambeth to London Bridge.

The new lifeboat's crew includes members of the Wells crew where the boat will be stationed.

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie said "Originally planned to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, this event provides a fitting occasion for the Thames’ river communities, of which the RNLI has been a proud member for 20 years, to express their sadness at the recent death of Her Majesty.

"The crew from Wells-next-the-Sea, where RNLB Duke of Edinburgh will be on service later this year, are extremely honoured to be part of this commemoration to our longest-serving Patron and a much-loved member of the RNLI family. I would like to thank the organisers, Thames Festival Trust, for nominating the RNLI as the official charity and raising much-needed funds for our new Tower Lifeboat Station at Waterloo Bridge."

The new lifeboat will be coming to Wells soon but no date has yet been fixed for its arrival.

  Reflections flotilla website

First pictures of 13-46 at sea

Tue 30 Aug 2022

13-46 'Duke of Edinburgh' on trails in Poole Bay

13-46 'Duke of Edinburgh' on trails in Poole Bay
Martin Phillips

We're grateful to Martin Phillips of the RNLI in Poole for sending us some pictures of our new Shannon 13-46 'Duke of Edinburgh' on sea trials earlier this month. More images along with pictures of the new SLRS carrriage and some of the training with the relief lifeboat can be found in our photo gallery.

  More pictures in our gallery

See all news...

New Shannon lifeboat
and boathouse build

New boathouse build
Latest update 20/9/2022

The RNLI is building a new lifeboat station at Wells ready for a new Shannon-class lifeboat be delivered to the town later this year. See boathouse build pages for the latest progress on construction work.

The new boathouse will take around 18 months to complete and is expected to be finished in August 2022.

It will house our inshore lifeboat and the forthcoming Shannon-class lifeboat which is currently being built at the RNLI's All-Weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole. The new boat, no. 13-46, will be named 'Duke of Edinburgh' and is expected to arrive in Wells in the Autumn.

The new lifeboat 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 further afield.

COVID-19 restrictions

We are delighted to be able to welcome vistors to the station once more but we remain keen to protect our crews and ensure the lifeboats can be manned if needed while the virus is still in circulation. Casual visitors can pop in when the station is manned but please contact us in advance for groups or organised visits and please leave it for another day if you or someone you have recently been in close contact with has Covid symptoms or a positive test.

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 take care near building works for the new lifeboat station.

Sunday 28 Aug 2022 18:30
Annual Lifeboat Service

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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)2005-2021 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