Wells Lifeboat  RNLI Lifeboats Wells Norfolk UK
Wells Lifeboat

Launch A Memory Wells

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

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Frequently asked questions

RNLI Wells Lifesavers Fund

Donate to Wells Lifeboat

Wells Beach Safety leaflet

Download our new local map and guide for enjoying the coast and beaches at Wells and Holkham... see our new 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 27/9/2021

Walls and floors are appearing in our new lifeboat station! 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

Sea Safety Guide

Wells Beach Safety leaflet

Download our new local map and guide for enjoying the coast and beaches at Wells and Holkham... see our new Sea Safety Page

RNLI Wells Lifesavers Fund

RNLI Wells lifesavers fund

Recent Services

4 November 2021
14:37

Wells inshore lifeboat was paged by HM Coastguard to assist two people and their dog who had got into the difficulties while walking on the foreshore of Wells Beach, west of the harbour channel. They dialled 999 when they found themselves cut off by the incoming tide in stormy weather. The ILB launched at 14.44pm outside the boathouse. The weather conditions were far from ideal, with squalls of driving rain from the north and the wind gusting force 6 at times. The stranded people could be seen from the lifeboat station and were already up to their knees in the tide flooding across the sand. With breaking seas to windward, the inshore lifeboat was able to reach them by through calmer waters in a drain to the south, arriving on scene at 14:51. By this time the water was already at waist height and the two people and the dog were quickly brought onboard. The lifeboat returned to the boathouse where the party was met by the local Coastguard team before being taken into the boathouse to get warm and dry. The inshore lifeboat was rehoused and refuelled 15.10.

Weather Squally Visibility Good Wind N6 Sea Slight

2 November 2021
13:11

Three walkers on the west side sands found themselves cut off by the incoming flood tide. The inshore lifeboat was paged after a 999 call from other members of the same party safely on the beach and a report from the Wells National Coastwatch lookout. The ILB launched at 13:23 while the local coastguard team joined the other members of the party on the beach keeping an eye on the persons in difficulty. The ILB arrived to seaward of the persons and landed a crew member who waded to them at 13:23. Aided by the crew member, the party then waded through waist-deep water to an area of higher ground while the inshore lifeboat navigated the rapidly rising channel between them and the shore as the tide rose to be able to get near enough to pick them up. The 3 persons and crew member were on-board the lifeboat at 13:41 and returned to the boathouse to be met by the coastguard and the rest of their party at 13:48. The ILB crew had noticed other groups of people out on the sands who were in danger of shortly being cut off in a similar fashion so the lifeboat returned to the scene and advised two other groups to return to the beach. The lifeboat was rehoused and refuelled and back on service again at 15:00.

Weather Sunny Visibility Good Wind SW3 Sea Slight

26 October 2021
16:19

The inshore lifeboat was paged to assist a lady who had got into difficulties walking in the outer reaches of Blakeney harbour. She had sought refuge on a moored boat and had managed to alert the coastguard using a VHF found on the vessel but was unable to provide a clear indication of her actual whereabouts. The ILB left the boathouse at low water and launched on the west side of Wells beach at 16:43. The Wells coastguard team attended and proceeded to the old lifeboat station on Blakeney point in their all-terrain vehicle while a fixed wing Coastguard aircraft in the vicinity also joined the search.

The inshore lifeboat arrived at Blakeney harbour at 17:05 and with very little water in the channel, landed a crew member with a handheld VHF who started walking inwards towards the old lifeboat station. After several passes of the harbour, the fixed wing aircraft was able to locate the person and then direct the lifeboat crew member to her location approximately 3/4 mile further in to the harbour. The lifeboat crew member reached the person at 17:27 and ascertained that she was well and then guided her on foot through the harbour and over the marsh to the coastguard at the old lifeboat house. The local coastguards were then able to bring lady back off the point to the safety of the mainland at Blakeney. The lifeboat crew member made his way back to the lifeboat which then returned to station at 18:30 on the first of the flood tide. The lifeboat was rehoused and refuelled by 19:21.

Weather Cloudy Visibility Good Wind SW4 Sea Slight

25 October 2021
09:35

The inshore lifeboat was paged for an immediate launch to a kayaker in the water having capsized his craft in Brancaster harbour, behind Scolt Head island. The ILB launched from the boathouse at 09:44 and headed towards Brancaster, arriving at the harbour entrance at 10:04 and then headed in towards the Nod where the local coastguard team had sighted the kayak in the water. The coastguard subsequently advised that a local fishing vessel had taken the kayak in tow. The lifeboat reached the fishing boat at 10:15 and learnt that the kayaker had managed to get ashore. The lifeboat proceeded into the harbour and subsequently ascertained that the kayaker was now safely back on dry land and getting warm in the White Horse public house and required no further assistance. The lifeboat was released to return to Wells at 10.30 and arrived back for recovery at the lifeboat station at 11.00.

Weather Part cloudy Visibility Good Wind SW3 Sea Slight

ILB crew assist with feeding fire service hose across the channel, 15/10/21

ILB crew assist with feeding fire service hose across the channel, 15/10/21

Wells inshore lifeboat attending yacht on fire near Wells quay, 15/10/21

Wells inshore lifeboat attending yacht on fire near Wells quay, 15/10/21

Yacht on fire Wells harbour, 15/11/21

Yacht on fire Wells harbour, 15/11/21

15 October 2021
18:54

The inshore lifeboat launched with a crew of four at 19:07 in a multi-agency call to a moored yacht on fire within Wells harbour. The lifeboat arrived on-scene joining the Norfolk Fire and Rescue service who were already in attendance on the beach bank. The vessel was substantially ablaze and the fire brigade had already ascertained that there was no longer any people on board. With further agencies arriving, including police and coastguard, the fire service took the lead and a decision was made to fight the fire instead of leaving it to burn out.

With the tide ebbing, the moored boat was now dried out on sand. As the ILB was already on-scene, there was no need for the fire service to launch their own boat and the ILB and crew assisted by transporting equipment and firefighters across the channel to the vicinity of the burning boat. The crew also helped wading on foot to feed a hose from the fire pump across the channel which the firefighters used to douse the flames with foam.

Once the fire crew was satisfied that the fire was extinguished, the ILB helped to bring equipment and crew back across the channel. The lifeboat was stood down at 22:48 when the crew walked the boat back down the channel to the boathouse, there now being insufficient tide remaining to motor back. The ILB was recovered at 12:20 and washed down, refuelled and rehoused by 00:50.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NW2 Sea Slight

10 October 2021
18:21

The all-weather lifeboat was paged to assist a fishing vessel with two crew 16 miles offshore which was unable to make way properly due to a rope fouling her propellor. As it was low water, the lifeboat launched in Holkham Bay at 19:07 and met up with the fishing boat at 19:36. A tow line was attached and the fishing boat towed back to the entrance to Wells harbour. As the fishing vessel had sufficient drive to make its own way to the quay, the tow was dropped at the West Cardinal buoy at 20:40 and the fishing boat headed in to its mooring unaided. The lifeboat returned to station and was refuelled, rehoused and ready again for service by 22:15.

Weather Cloudy Visibility Good Wind S2 Sea Slight

9 October 2021
16:14

The inshore lifeboat was launched to assist a RIB with four persons on board which had run hard aground in the approaching the harbour late on the morning's ebb tide. It had been hoped that the RIB's crew could recover the boat on the evening tide but one of the sponsons had lost pressure and there was concern about the boat refloating properly and its position out to sea with the onset of darkness and deteriorating visibility. The inshore lifeboat and crew coupled up to the Softrak launching vehicle proceeded before the flood tide across the beach to the foreshore where the boat was aground. The ILB was launched nearby at 16:38 and it was decided it would be best to take the four crew members of the RIB back to the boathouse and for the lifeboat crew to recover the RIB once the tide arrived. The Softrak returned to the boathouse with the RIB crew at 17:10 who then made their way up town to await their boat.

The flood tide started to lift the RIB by 17:35 and there were no issues with refloating. It was therefore decided that a member of the lifeboat crew would take the RIB under its own power back to its usual mooring in the town with the inshore lifeboat escorting it. Both boats made their way slowly in as the tide made in the harbour and the RIB was safely put its mooring at 19:00. The lifeboat came ashore at 19:25 and was washed down, rehoused and refuelled by 20:05.

Weather Fine Visibility Moderate Wind NE3 Sea Slight

2 October 2021
12:37

Humber Coastguard paged the inshore lifeboat to assist two people cut off by the tide on the west side sands on Wells beach. The two persons were visible from the boathouse, caught on a spit of sand rapidly disappearing under the flooding tide. The lifeboat launched at 12:49 and picked up the two persons who were cold and had wet feet but were otherwise well. They were brought back to the boathouse where the local coastguard team met them. The lifeboat was washed down, rehoused and refuelled by 13:40.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind SW2 Sea Slight

Latest News

Launch A Memory extended

Fri 29 Oct 2021

Launch A Memory extended

Launch A Memory extended


The Launch A Memory scheme that allows people to remember a loved one by including their name in the decals on our new lifeboat has proved hugely popular. We're delighted to announce that the new boat, due now late in 2022, will now carry dedications in the black lettering RNLI 13-46 on the wheelhouse roof, as well as the large white lettering on both sides of the hull. This creates room for an additional 5000 names and you can celebrate a loved one by making a dedication and donation on the Launch A Memory website below.

Please see our updated our frequently asked questions page if you have any queries or contact the Launch A Memory team by e-mail or telephone on 0300 3000061.

  Add your loved one's name to our new lifeboat here...

Shannon name announced

Thr 2 Sep 2021

On this day in 1950, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh assumed command of HMS Magpie and we're excited to reveal that Wells-next-the-Sea's new Shannon class lifeboat will be named Duke of Edinburgh, in honour of his maritime service

Our first public event for 19 months!

Crew and boats at the quayside, 22/8/21

Crew and boats at the quayside, 22/8/21
CF


Our thanks to everyone who came to our 60th Annual Lifeboat Service at Wells Quay on Sunday and to all those who worked in front of and behind the scenes to make it happen. This was our first public event since the pandemic started and it was lovely to once again have a crowd out to see the boats and join in.

We were also joined by NHS staff and volunteers from the Fakenham medical practice and vaccination centre on the restored historic lifeboat 'Lucy Lavers' as a thank you for their efforts this Summer. A more regular special guest was retired Coxswain David Cox, now age 95 and attending the event which he helped to start for the 60th time!

A collection raised just over £1600 for the RNLI.

See all news...

Boathouse Build

New boathouse build
Latest update 29/10/2021

Steady progress has been made with the new lifeboat station building. 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.

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

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. Please take care near building works for the new lifeboat station.

Monday 22 Nov 2021 18:00
Regular exercise

Sunday 5 Dec 2021 07:45
Launch on ebb, LW recovery in Holkham bay

Monday 20 Dec 2021 17:30
Regular exercise

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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