Wells Lifeboat  RNLI Lifeboats Wells Norfolk UK
Wells Lifeboat

Safety Advice

Wells Beach Safety leaflet

The sands to the west of Wells harbour entrance now quickly get cut off by the incoming tide.

People walking out on the sands by the water's edge to the west of Wells harbour entrance at low water can easily be cut off when the tide starts to come in. This particularly effects people walking along the foreshore from Holkham beach or those walking right out across the sand down the side of the harbour channel from Wells beach.

Make sure you come back to the main beach when the siren sounds, the water starts to flow into the harbour or four hours before the time of the next high water! See our Sea Saftey Advice page for more information and tide times.

3D Tour

3D virtual tour of the new Wells Lifeboat Station

Explore the new boathouse and Shannon lifeboat

Launch A Memory Wells
 

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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.

Shop Opening Times

Our new shop, visitor information centre and public viewing gallery are open Fridays-Mondays from 10-4 plus some additional weekdays... see below for latest info.

The shop is open!

Shop and viewing gallery open
10-4 Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday

Safety Warning!

A new sandbar means people walking by the water's edge to the west of Wells harbour entrance at low water can easily be cut off when the tide starts to come in. This particularly effects people walking along the foreshore from Holkham beach or those walking right out across the sand down the side of the harbour channel from Wells beach. Make sure you come back to the main beach when the siren sounds, the water starts to flow into the channel or four hours before the time of the next high water! See our Sea Saftey Advice page for more information and tide times.

Recent Services

20 May 2024
14:14

The inshore lifeboat was paged to a report of two persons and a dog cut off by the incoming tide to the west of the harbour entrance. Launching from the east slip with a crew of three, the ILB did a sweep of the area before concluding that all persons had walked or waded to safety. The boat was stood down at 14:34 and returned to station.

The sands to the west of Wells harbour entrance continue to be an issue for people walking out along the side of the harbour channel at low water or walking along the edge of the water from Holkham... the tide comes in behind anyone walking out here over from over three hours before high water. People should leave this area and be back on the main beach in front of the beach huts four hours before the time of high water shown at the entrance to the beach or in tide tables and certainly by the time water starts to flow up the beach and into the harbour.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NW4 Sea Slight

19 May 2024
13:09

Following a report from the NCI Coastwatch lookout at Wells, the inshore lifeboat was paged to help four persons cut off by the incomng tide on the west side of Wells harbour entrance. One of the persons was attempting to swim across the channel to the foreshore. The ILB with a crew of three launched via the east ramp at 13:22 and arrived on scene to find that all four had managed to wade to safety. A further three persons and three dogs were reported cut off on the same sand bank to the west and these people were taken on-board the lifeboat at 13:36 and safely returned to the boathouse. The ILB was rehoused by 14:30.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NW4 Sea Slight

18 May 2024
21:42

Humber Coastguard tasked the all-weather lifeboat to a 10m yacht Ewok with two persons on board which had got into difficulty close to a lee shore off Blakeney Point in moderate conditions on passage from Great Yarmouth. There were concerns that the crew were not familiar with sailing in darkness nor the local area and communication and language problems. The all-weather lifeboat left the boathouse at 22:00 for a low water launch on Holkham beach as was afloat by 22:22. The lifeboat quickly located the yacht and put a crew member on-board at 22:55 to assess the situation. No medical attention was needed but the crew were quite fatigued and communication in English was challenging. It was determined that the yacht was entirely seaworthy and, in conjunction with the coastguard and Coxswain, it was agreed the crew member would assist in taking the yacht towards Wells escorted by the lifeboat.

Arriving at the fairway at 23:30, it was still five hours before high water and the yacht's fin keel and 2m draft meant a substantial wait before any chance of bringing it into harbour. Given a favourable weather forecast, it was agreed to anchor the yacht in Holkham bay until daylight and then let its skipper decide to either put into Wells or continue the journey north. The yacht was anchored at midnight and, with everything safe, the crew member was transferred back onto the lifeboat which was then stood down. The lifeboat was recovered on Holkham beach at 00:44 and rehoused and ready again for service by 02:45. The yacht Ewok subsequently made her own way into Wells on the following afternoon tide.

Weather Cloudy Visibility Good Wind NW5 Sea Moderate

17 May 2024
23:34

Wells Inshore Lifeboat was paged at 23:33 to assist three anglers who had been fishing on the foreshore north of Stiffkey and had become disorientated in thick fog seaward of Cabbage creek. The inshore lifeboat left the boathouse at 23:47 with a crew of three in very restricted visibility and made its way to the Holkham Bay low water launch site, as there was insufficient water to launch in the harbour. Both Wells and Sheringham Coastguard rescue teams had also been called to the incident. The ILB launched at 00:07 on Saturday and proceeded toward the seaward side of Stiffkey. By this time the local Coastguard team had sighted lights in the marshes and ascertained that this was the anglers who were trying to make their way back to the mainland. The local coastguards proceeded onto the marsh and at 00:34 the anglers had managed to wade across Cabbage creek to safety. The ILB was by then just arriving on scene to seaward but with no further assistance required was stood down. There was by now sufficient water in the harbour channel for the boat to proceed into Wells and the lifeboat went ashore at 00:59 and was washed down, rehoused and ready for service at 01:30.

Weather Clody Visibility Poor Wind NW2 Sea Slight

Northern lights over the boathouse, 10/5/24

Northern lights over the boathouse after the ILB launch on 10/5/24

10 May 2024
21:08

The inshore Lifeboat launched from the boathouse following a 999 call to assist two young persons cut off by the tide on the marshes near Garborough creek at Stiffkey. The lifeboat located the two persons at 21:40 who were cold but otherwise well. They were taken on-board and dropped on shore near the High Sands Creek camp site into the care of a family member. The ILB then returned to station at 22:10. This service was conducted during the largest geomagnetic storm for nearly 20 years, with a spectacular display of the northern lights increasingly visible as the boat returned to station to be recovered and rehoused and many volunteers staying on afterwards to watch the spectacle.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind SE3 Sea Slight

5 May 2024
13:31

The inshore Lifeboat was paged to assist five persons cut off by the incoming tide. Launching with three crew at 13:42, the ILB quickly located the persons and ferried them safely to shore. Another group of four were able to wade off by themselves.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind SW3 Sea Slight

Latest News

Aurora at the boathhouse 10/5/24

10/5/24

Northern lights above the boathose

Northern lights above the boathose
DC

Northern lights above the boathose

Northern lights above the boathose
DC

Northern lights over the East Hills and ALB ramp

Northern lights over the East Hills and ALB ramp
DC


All of the UK was treated to a spectacular display of the northern lights on 10 May with the strongest forcecast geomagnetic storm for nearly 20 years. Big displays are normally restricted to locations further north though the aurora can be seen from Wells and along the north norfolk coast as pillars and patterns on the horizon several times a year. The lights usually appear to the naked eye as grey or white patches and patterns with red and green and other colours normally only being visible on a long exposure photograph.

This Friday was different with a very strong display that was high enough to appear overhead and to the south and not just on the horizon. Faint colours were also visible to the naked eye if you were lucky enough to be in a dark enough spot.

On Friday night, our inshore lifeboat was called out to assist two persons cut off by the tide on the marshes at Stiffkey and several volunteers, including shore crew member Debbie Carter de Bois who took these images, stayed on at the boathouse after recovering and rehousing the lifeboat to enjoy the spectacle.

Riders of Charity call in at Wells

6/4/2024

Riders of Charity arrive at Wells with some of the crew

Riders of Charity arrive at Wells with some of the crew

Riders of Charity tour with members of the Wells crew

Riders of Charity tour with members of the Wells crew


Charity bikers Riders of Charity called in at Wells on a whistlestop weekend tour of Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk lifeboat stations, meeting some of our volunteer crew at the station and stopping for a cup of tea before setting off eastwards for Sheringham, Happisburgh and beyond as far as Southwold, with a ride up the east coast visiting Skegness, Mablethorpe and Cleethorpes on Sunday.

The group was founded in 2020 and has raised over £18000 for various charities with a series of adventure rides and shorter days out. This Norfolk event was a precursor to their main ride this year, a week long 500 mile tour of Scotland.

This year, the riders are raising funds for the RNLI, Alzheimer's Society and Mental Health Motorbike and we wish them well on their adventures...

  Riders of Charity

See all news...

Shop Opening Times

Our shop, visitor information centre and public viewing gallery are open weekends from Friday to Monday and some extra weekdays from 10-4. In good weather, the main boathouse doors may also be open to view the all-weather lifeboat. See below for latest times or our visits page for more information.

The shop is open!

Shop and viewing gallery open
10-4 Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday

Wells RNLI 200th Anniversary events

Celebrating 200 years

The RNLI is 200 years old this year and the anniversary is being marked nationally and by lifeboat crews and stations around the UK. In Wells, we held a series of events and an exhibition in Wells Maltings in March and we'll be flying the RNLI 200 flag throughout the year.
Wells RNLI 200th Lifeboat Horse scuplture
Lifeboat Horse marking 200 years in the quay

Shannon lifeboat
and boathouse build

New boathouse build

Wells RNLI is now operating from the new building. See the boathouse build pages for the story of how the new station was built.

Our new Shannon 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.

Exercise Launches

You are welcome to watch the lifeboats launch on exercise from a safe distance on the beach bank or beach; please keep clear of the boats and launching vehicles and keep children and dogs under supervision. Exercises are roughly every two weeks and we try to post dates and times in advance when we can. All dates are subject to change or cancellation at short notice for operational reasons.

Thursday 23 May 2024 18:30
Regular exercise
CANCELLED
ILB may launch for training

Thursday 6 Jun 2024 20:30
ILB attending D-Day 80 event

Saturday 8 Jun 2024 08:30
ILB attending Norfolk Superhero Challenge

Sunday 9 Jun 2024 08:30
ALB exercise

Sunday 23 Jun 2024 08:30
Regular exercise

Launch A Memory Wells
 

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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