On Febrary 24 1898, the gunboat Alarm anchored off Wells to bring a few trivial stores for the coastguard. The coastguard's cutter set off with five men but was capsized and all five were drowned. Next morning the commander of the gunboat, not knowing what had happened, sent one of his boats with six men to bring the stores ashore. This too was capsized and all the crew drowned.
The lifeboat Baltic then went out to the gunboat and was able to prevent another and larger one of their boats being sent. The lifeboat was out all night.
A monument to those who lost their lives was erected on Wells Quay, besides the Harbour Office, in 1998, 100 years after the tragedy.
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.
Sunday 10 Dec 2023 09:30
Launch & recovery Holkham beach
Saturday 30 Dec 2023 08:30