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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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 from the ground or viewing gallery.
In good weather ove the Summer, we are sometimes able to have the main doors open and you can get a good view of the front of the boat and the names then. We have also had some 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.
We have also started 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, all available slots are often booked up. Please check our visits page for more information and a link to the booking system.
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 (and be asked, if necessary) 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.
On good weather days and with sufficient people on station, we have on occasions been able to open the main doors and have 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.
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.
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 Lauch 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.
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.
Of course; but you need to complete a separate form for each name, making a separate donation each time.
No, unfortunately each name must be submitted as a separate entry, one for Henry and another for Amelia.
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
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
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.
Yes, as long as it could not be deemed offensive. Contact the Launch A Memory team for advice if you are unsure by emailing
Your submission must be no more than 35 characters in total.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, you will receive the same emails, updates, and information. The only difference is where on the lifeboat the name is!
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.
You can find all the information and forms you need on the RNLI website rnli.org/WellsLaunch.
Thank you for your support.
Sunday 24 September 2023
Our Shannon-class all-weather lifeboat 13-46 Duke of Edinburgh will be on display outside in front of the boathouse from 10am-4pm on Sunday 24 September (unless, of course, she is required to launch for an emergency). There will be public access to walk around the boat and look at the 'Launch A Memory' names on the bow. The shop and visitor centre will be open and volunteers on-hand to chat about the work we do.
We've moved in... Wells RNLI is now operating from the new building. See the boathouse build pages for the latest information and the story of how the new station was built.
The 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.
We're keen to protect our crew to ensure the lifeboats can be manned when needed. Please don't visit the station or shop if you or someone you have recently been in close contact with has Covid symptoms or a postive test.
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#