Wells Lifeboat  RNLI Lifeboats Wells Norfolk UK
Wells Lifeboat

Launch A Memory Wells
Frequently Asked Questions

Wells' new Shannon class lifeboat celebrates the lives of 15,000 people by carrying their names within the RNLI 13-46 numbering on the sides of the hull and roof of the wheelhouse. It is the third new lifeboat to be part of the 'Launch A Memory' scheme, following on from boats at Invergorden and Clifden. Launch A Memory is organised and managed by the RNLI head office in Poole but we've added this page to the website to help answer some of the questions we've been asked at the station or locally around town.

Closed for new applications - 25/4/22

All the names for the new Wells lifeboat were allocated in early 2022 and are now on the boat. We're keeping this page up for anyone who has applied and wants to know more. For enquiries relating to existing applications, please e-mail

If you'd like to support the RNLI's work and have a loved one's name celebrated on a new all-weather lifeboat, keep an eye on the RNLI's Launch A Memory web page where details of new launch a memory boats and applications to have names added can be made.

Launch A Memory    Back to RNLI Wells home page

RNLI Wells Launch A Memory III

Can I come and see the new lifeboat?

Yes, you can see the lifeboat when the shop and public viewing gallery are open... this is usually from Friday to Monday from 10am to 4pm but there may be other additional days; we try to be open every day during school holidays. There may, of course, be occasions when the lifeboat is out on service or exercise or when work or training is taking place in the boat hall and we have to close the public gallery. There may also be occasions when there aren't enough volunteers available to have the gallery open but in general it is accessible when the shop is.

Please note that while you can see and get quite close to the lifeboat, it is not possible to see and read the Launch A Memory names from the gallery platform.

What if the shop is closed?

You can see the station's inshore lifeboat and get a glimpse of the Shannon through the main window on the beach bank. There are also exact reproductions of the Launch A Memory decals on three benches on the south apron; these are open to the public and can be viewed at any time.

What about seeing the names in the actual RNLI 13-46 lettering close up?

This is more difficult. The names on the hull are quite high up when the boat is on the SLRS launching carriage and the ground floor of the boat hall is a working area not generally open to visitors or the public. The names on the wheelhouse roof are too high up to see either from the ground or the viewing gallery.

In good weather, we sometimes have the main doors open and you can get a good view of the front of the boat and the names on the port and starboard bow then. We also sometimes have public viewing days when the boat is outside with volunteers from the crew, shop and visits teams on-hand to chat about our work. See our events page for dates.

Finally, we also have regular boathouse tours which will take small groups into the boat hall but at the moment we have limited spaces and volunteer guides and, at present, these get booked up. Please check our visits page for more information and a link to the booking system.

Are there any other options?

We publicise exercise and training launch dates in advance on our home page when we can and you are welcome to watch the boats being launched or recovered from the beach bank or even out on Holkham beach. You will need to keep a safe distance so won't be close enough to see the names but this is a great way to see the Shannon and SLRS and the volunteer crew in action. Please note that exercises may be cancelled or rearranged at short notice for operational reasons.

In good weather and with sufficient volunteers on station, we sometimes have the main doors open with public access to the front of the boat with the rest of the boat hall cordened off. We hope to be able to do this more often over the summer months.

RNLI Wells Launch A Memory III

Older questions

Can you send me a photo of the boat?

There are some photos of the boat in our news pages and 13-46 photo gallery page. The shop and visitor centre has a postcard of the boat for sale but we do not have a mail order or on-line service to send this or other photos out.

When is the boat coming to Wells?

The new lifeboat was built at the RNLI's All Weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole and was lifted into the water for the first time on 5th July 2022. During sea trials, it was displayed for Launch A Memory donors at Poole from Augut 20th-24th. The new boat arrived in Wells by sea on 8th October 2022 and is now housed in the new boathouse at the end of the beach bank.

I am not happy using IT, online forms and payments, can I still contribute?

Yes! For new Launch-A-Memory boats, you can phone the Launch A Memory Team on 0300 300 0061 (UK) or 01 511 9871 (Ireland) or (+)44 1202 336395 (outside of UK and ROI) and make your dedication and donation over the phone.

Can I submit more than one name?

Of course; but you need to complete a separate form for each name, making a separate donation each time.

Can I add the names of my loved ones together? For example, my parents, Henry and Amelia Slazenger.

No, unfortunately each name must be submitted as a separate entry, one for Henry and another for Amelia.

Can my loved one’s names be placed together on the decal so that they are together on the boat?

Names will be placed to best fit the decal on the boat; however, the Launch A Memory team will make every endeavour to place names together where this is the expressed wish of the donor. In order for the team to realise this, names should be submitted by the same person, one straight after the other. Please then confirm this by emailing

I've already donated for one name or family member and now want to add another... can they be placed together?

As above, names will be placed to best fit the decal on the boat. However, the Launch A Memory team will try to place names together where they can if you let them know. Please make any specific request by email

Is Launch a Memory only for the deceased?

No, anyone can be celebrated in this way. Launch a Memory is primarily a way of paying tribute and remembering a loved one, but they do not have to be deceased.

My Dad was known by his nickname all his life. Is it OK to include it as part of his name?

Yes, as long as it could not be deemed offensive. Contact the Launch A Memory team for advice if you are unsure by emailing

We have a very long family name - what is the maximum length of an entry allowed?

Your submission must be no more than 35 characters in total.

What is the Much-Loved dedication page for? I have noticed it at the end of the Launch A Memory page.

You are invited to make a dedication to your loved one with a photograph if you wish. It is a web page which will stay throughout the campaign and may give you insight into the ways others have expressed their love and admiration.

How is the campaign doing? Will my donation make a difference?

Launch a Memory for the Wells lifeboat has been very popular and all the space for names has now been taken. We cannot accept further applications.

How will the names appear on the top of the boat?

They will be in small type within the decal on the wheelhouse roof. They will be the same size and font as names on the sides of the boat but in black as the wheelhouse roof is painted orange for visibility rather than the blue and white decals on the lifeboat hull.

Can I swap a name from the top to the sides of the boat?

No, we can't move names around. The text in the hull and wheelhouse decals is the same size and font and the names are equally visible when viewed close up.

If I add a name at this stage, will I receive the same information as earlier contributors?

Yes, you will receive the same emails, updates, and information. The only difference is where on the lifeboat the name is!

Why is there a question about employment in the Civil service, Royal Mail or Post Office?

Much of the funding for our Shannon came through the Civil Service Pension Fund. This question is simply so the amount raised through this route can be tracked.

Where can I find more information about Launch a Memory, so I can tell my friends and family how to Launch a Memory?

You can find all the information and forms you need on the RNLI website rnli.org/WellsLaunch.

Thank you for your support.

Launch A Memory    Back to RNLI Wells home page

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.

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. #1#