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.
See boathouse build pages for the latest information on our new boathouse building.
Weather Squally and overcast Visibility Moderate Wind N5 Sea Slight-Moderate
Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind S3 Sea Slight
The station Softrack launch and recovery vehicle, together with more crew, a stretcher and oxygen, left the Boathouse at 2.45pm to join the ILB on the beach. The Softrac was on scene at 3.12pm and recovered the lifeboat onto its trailer. The casualty, who was still receiving medical attention, was then placed on a stretcher in the inshore lifeboat. The Softrack and lifeboat proceeded back across the beach to the new boathouse as the new building was much cooler insider than the lifeboat station. The casualty was transferred to the cooler confines of the crew changing room, where the lifeboat crew and a local paramedic continued casualty care and first aid. An ambulance arrived at 4.15pm with the casualty starting to respond positively. The decision was made to take the person to the hospital for further assessment and treatment. The inshore lifeboat was stood down and returned to station. It was rehoused refuelled, and ready again for service at 4.20pm.
Weather Fine/Very hot Visibility Good Wind Light airs Sea Smooth
Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind W2 Sea Slight
The pair reached the Brancaster channel at 19:15 but because the tide was now flooding in, it had become impassable on foot. Because the child had difficulty understanding the situation, the ILB collected the child's father from Brancaster beach and transported him across the channel to assist in getting the child into the boat. With father's help, the child was taken on-board and returned to the beach where his mother was waiting at 19:47. The ILB departed at 19:52 and was washed down, refuelled and rehoused by 20:50.
Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind W2 Sea Slight
Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind W2 Sea Slight
The ILB launched at 22:52 and proceeded towards the vessel's reported position in Holkham Bay but it became evident that the vessel was actually to the east of Wells. The ILB located the vessel at 23:18, finding it currently safe but hard aground on sands north of Stiffkey. The lifeboat crew ran out the vessel's anchor to seaward and made up a towing bridle in preparation for refloating the vessel on the flood tide at first light using the all-weather lifeboat. With all prepared, the ILB returned for a low water recovery on Holkham beach and was rehoused by 01:00.
Crews for both lifeboats mustered again at 03:00 on 14th. The ALB left the boathouse at 03:15 to launch off Holkham Beach at 03:50. The Inshore Lifeboat launched on the first of the flood outside the boathouse 03:55. Both boats arrived on-scene at 04:10 where the Kazmar was already beginning to lift as the tide made its way up the beach. The ILB managed to attach a tow and, with little swell and favourable conditions, was able to pull the fishing boat stern first into deeper water while a crew member put on-board buoyed her anchor and cable. The all-weather lifeboat was then able to take over the tow. The ILB departed at 04:25 while the all-weather lifeboat, with the fishing boat in tow, headed slowly back towards Wells while the tide made sufficiently to enter the harbour. The pair came over the bar at 05:10 where the fishing boat was transferred alongside the lifeboat prior to being safely moored in the outer harbour at 05:30. The lifeboats were recovered and rehoused by 06:30.
Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NW2 Sea Slight
Training and preparation for the transition to our new Shannon class lifeboat have begun in earnest with the arrival in Wells of our Shannon Launch & Recovery Systems (SLRS) unit. SC-T27 is named 'Patricia Jean Bettany' and is a brand new SLRS built specifically for the station.
The SLRS arrived on 28 July by road in two sections which were assembled on the Beach Road and then carefully driven up onto the beach bank, past the new boathouse and onto the beach. The unit for now will be kept at the top of the ALB ramp while the new boathouse is still being finished.
An intensive driver training course with the RNLI's coastal support team followed which included long sessions around our low water launch and recovery site on Holkham beach as well as taking the SLRS round the back of the current boathouse for manoeuvres on the back beach. Finally, the new boat hall was temporarily cleared so our drivers could have a first go at taking the SLRS into and out of the new boathouse.
Other training is on-going including coxswains and crew attending a jet boat handling course at the Lifeboat College in Poole at the start of August, helming a jet training boat and Shannon relief lifeboats, and courses upcoming in Wells and Poole for boat and SLRS mechanics.
A relief Shannon lifeboat will be arriving in Wells soon for crew familiarisation, afloat training and launch and recovery practice.
Wells' own new Shannon RNLB 13-46 'Duke of Edinburgh' is still on commissioning trials at the All Weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole. The boat will be on display to 'Launch A Memory' donors ashore at Poole from 20-24th August (event now fully booked) and should be arriving in Wells towards the end of September.More pictures of the SLRS and 13-46 in our gallery pages...
Crew and guild members and their friends and families met up in the grounds of Wells Cottage Hospital on a lovely summer evening to recognise the long service of some of our volunteers. Many crew members also received the Queen's Platinum Jubilee medal which has been awarded to all frontline emergency services personnel that had completed five full years of service on 6 February 2022.
This was the first such event held several years and recognised achievements not just for 2022 but in 2021 and prior years so we were delighted to be able to welcome back some retired crew and people who have left the station to formerly recognise their contribution to Wells RNLI.
A bar and barbeque followed.
Awards were given for 20 years service to Lifeboat Operations Manager Chris Hardy and Tractor driver and Show crew Kent Cooper, both due in 2021. Crew member Max Phillips also received a 20 year award and Head Launcher Nicky Beck a 30 year award, both due this year. Certificates of service were awarded to past crew members Martyn Flitcroft for over 10 years and to Mick Frary for over 40 years on the lifeboat as a crew member, mechanic and navigator.
A special mention and picture were presented to Dr Gordon McAnsh who retired this year, having served as the station's Lifeboat Medical Advisor from June 2014.
Among the Wells Lifeboat Guide, 20 year service awards were made to Janet Beckett, Hazel Mitchell, Janet Angles, Isobel Camp, Kate Webb, Louise Williams and Margaret Bunting. Marylyn Smith and Linda Ballard were awarded 30 year awards and Sheila Warner for 60 years on the guild.
Platinum Jubilee medals were awarded to Nicky Beck, James Betteridge, Harmen Brouwer, Kent Cooper, Phil Eaglan, Martin Emerson, Martin Few, Mark Frary, Ross Fulford, Chris Hardy, Eric Hart, Nathan Hart, Greg Hewitt, Nicky King, Gordon McAnsh, Kevin Parr, Max Phillips, Peter Rainsford, Danny Roberts, Ray West and Fred Whitaker.
Our thanks to all who helped to support and organise the event, and to Wells Community Hospital for use of their Hive cafe and gardens. A bar and barbeque followed.
Photos from the awards presentations...
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.
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.
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
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