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Wells Lifeboat News

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Station tour dates for 2024

Tue 6 Feb 2024

Our volunteer guides have posted dates for more boathouse tours in 2024. These are free 50 minute visits which take small groups around the lifeboat station and explain our work and chat about the boats and equipment we use. There are four tours per month up to September and tours must be booked in advance using the EventBrite link below. 

Please note that you can usually come in and see both lifeboats from the viewing gallery whenever the shop is open (generally Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, 10-4 with additional days when we can) and that we are sometimes able to have the big doors at the front of the boathouse open in good weather so that Launch A Memory donors can see and get a picture with the names on the bow of the all-weather lifeboat. So you can usually get to see the boats and names if you are in Wells at the weekend and don't have to wait for a tour.

That said, the tours are popular so book on the link below soon if you'd like a spot... we look forward to seeing you!

  Book a boathouse tour

RNLI 200th Anniversary Weekend

Thr 25 Jan 2024

The RNLI is celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2024. Wells RNLI is marking this with a weekend of activities and events in conjunction with Wells Maltings from 1st to 3rd March 2024 and a free exhibition which runs until 9th. For full details, see our events page.

Carols at the Boathouse

Wed 13 Dec 2023

Please join us at the boathouse for our annual carol service on Sunday 17th December, starting at 6.30pm. This event is open to all and is usually well attended by crew and families, townsfolk and visitors to the town, with a short service and readings, musical support by the inimitable Fakenham Town Band and refreshments afterwards. 

RNLI-911 Challenge calls in at Wells

Fri 1 Sep 2023

Wells RNLI was delighted to once again welcome Belinda and James Richardson and their bright red Porsche 911, 'Splash' on a flying visit to the station today. The couple have been fund-raising for the RNLI each year with various annual challenges in their Porsche 911 and intend to continue until next year's RNLI bicentenary celebrations when they hope to have raised sufficient funds to pay for a new D-class inshore lifeboat.

This year, the couple are driving the 911 3500 miles around the whole of England, including Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Isle of White, Isle of Man and the Isle of Scilly visiting all 116 lifeboat stations.

Belinda explained ‘Although we are not connected to the RNLI we are humbled by this unique organisation's 6,500 volunteers; be it the boat crews, land crew, lifeguards or fundraisers and wish to put our new found freedom to good use in supporting their gallant efforts by raising funds for a 'D' Class Lifeboat.’

Today, James and Belinda met up with Coxswain Nicky King, Mechanic Martin Emerson and several of the station’s volunteer crew. Matthew Lockwood of Porsche Centre Norwich, who have sponsored six station visits, also attended and presented the station with a plaque.

911 challenge first visited the station in 2018 when the objective was to drive to all 238 lifeboat stations in 911 hours. We thank them for their continued support and wish them luck on the road...

  Follow and support the 911's journey here...

62nd Annual Lifeboat Service

Wed 16 Aug 2023

Crew and lifeboat alongside for our annual lifeboat service at the quay

Crew and lifeboat alongside for our annual lifeboat service at the quay

Our thanks to all who joined us on the quay on Sunday 13th August for our 62nd Annual Lifeboat Service, the first conducted from our new Shannon-class lifeboat RNLB 13-46 Duke of Edinburgh. Your support and donations are always appreciated but particularly at the end of a very long day for our volunteers which started just after 2am when the lifeboat was launched to assist a yacht into Wells harbour.

Lifeboat named by HRH The Duke of Kent

Mon 5 Jun 2023

HRH The Duke of Kent (yellow jacket) with VIP guests and the crew at the naming of the new lifeboat

HRH The Duke of Kent (yellow jacket) with VIP guests and the crew at the naming of the new lifeboat

HRH The Duke of Kent naming the new lifeboat

HRH The Duke of Kent naming the new lifeboat

The newly named lifeboat arriving at the quay for a public dedication and celebration

The newly named lifeboat arriving at the quay for a public dedication and celebration

Wells next-the-Sea RNLI’s dedication and naming ceremony for the new lifeboat station, its new Shannon class lifeboat and its SLRS launch and recovery rig took place on Saturday 3rd June.

The RNLI's President HRH The Duke of Kent officially named the lifeboat 'Duke of Edinburgh' to commemorate The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’s long-standing commitment to maritime services and recognise a lifetime of support to the RNLI’s longest serving Patron, Queen Elizabeth II. RNLI Vice President Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence named the launch and recovery rig after its principal donor Patricia Jean Bettany.

Representatives of the many who have helped to raise funds to enable these new lifesaving assets attended including the Bradbury Foundation and The Lifeboat Fund who handed over the new boathouse and lifeboat into the care of the RNLI.

RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie accepted them on behalf of the RNLI and handed them into the care of the lifeboat station. Chris Hardy, Wells RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager then accepted them on behalf of the station before a service of dedication led by Wells RNLI’s Station Chaplain, Rev. Neil Woodruffe.

The guests were treated to a new verse in the hymn 'Eternal Father' sung by Wells Churches Together Choir, written by RNLI crew member Richard John MacDonald at Anstruther RNLI Lifeboat Station to capture the ‘courage, strength and grace’ of all who risk their lives at sea to help others. This was the first time this special 'lifeboat verse' has been featured at an RNLI event.

RNLB Duke of Edinburgh is the third all-weather lifeboat at Wells to be named by a member of the Royal family. The Oakley class lifeboat RNLB Ernest Tom Neathercoat was named by HRH Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent in 1965, and the Mersey class lifeboat RNLB Doris M Mann of Ampthill by HRH Duchess of Kent in July 1990.

Mark Dowie said "It’s a great honour, not just for Wells Lifeboat Station but for the RNLI as a whole to name a lifeboat in honour of The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh."

"We have included a special feature on the lifeboat’s waterline transom plate in recognition of His Royal Highness' naval career, installed by His Majesty The King when he visited the RNLI All weather Lifeboat Centre in June 2021. The plate has been specially engraved with a magpie to commemorate HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh's service as Commanding Officer onboard HMS Magpie."

"We are delighted our President HRH The Duke of Kent has joined us today. The Duke's warmth, generosity and understanding of our lifesaving work is incredibly valued by this charity and the time His Royal Highness spends with our volunteers is greatly appreciated by the Institution."

The second part of the event took place on the quay, from 4pm, with The Blakeney Old Wild Rovers playing and singing sea shanties until the new lifeboat was launched to join in with proceedings at 5pm.

Mark Dowie addressed the community to thank them for their unwavering support to the lifeboat station.

Chris Hardy, Wells RNLI's volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager, said "Saturday heralded a new chapter of lifesaving for Wells RNLI. It was a momentous occasion and was the perfect opportunity to celebrate the new lifeboat station, lifeboat and launch and recovery system and the sunshine was an extra blessing."


Naming ceremony and dedication of the new boathouse

Fri 28 Apr 2023

On Saturday 3rd June 2023 Wells' new Shannon-class lifeboat RNLB 13-46 Duke of Edinburgh will be officially named and, together with the SLARS launch and recovery rig and the new lifeboat station building, will be dedicated to the service of saving lives at sea. The ceremony will start at 2.30pm at the new boathouse and, due to limited space, will be for invited guests only. Following this, the lifeboat will launch and run up to the quay for a public dedication.

Events at the quayside will start at 4pm with help from the Blakeney Old Wild Rovers. The lifeboat will arrive at approximately 5pm and crew and guests will disembark and proceed to the stage where an address will be given by the RNLI's Chief Executive, Mark Dowie.

This may be a busy and crowded event and we are grateful to Wells Harbour for the use of the quay which has plenty of room and space, if needed, to extend towards the east end or down along the beach bank for everyone to get a good view.

Anyone wishing to see the boat ashore or to avoid a crowd should note that we will be having further viewing days at the boathouse over the summer, that it is usually possible to visit the viewing gallery and see the boat whenever the lifeboat souvenir shop is open and that, on some days in good weather, the main boathouse doors are opened so the boat can be seen from ground level.

New 3D walkthrough tour of Wells lifeboat station

Mon 20 Mar 2023

New 3D tour of the station... click link below to start!

New 3D tour of the station... click link below to start!

Local photographer (and Sheringham lifeboat volunteer crew member) Chris Taylor has created an on-line 3D walkthrough tour of our new boathouse and our Shannon class all-weather lifeboat 'Duke of Edinburgh'. You can look round the building and even go on-board the Shannon from the comfort of your own screen and mouse. To start the tour, click on the link below. To move around, tap on the overlaid white circles... it is also possible to zoom in and out and turn round from any location.

Our thanks to Chris for his expertise and effort in making the tour and for making it available to all.

  Wells Lifeboat Station - 3D walkthrough tour

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