Wells Lifeboat  RNLI Lifeboats Wells Norfolk UK
Wells Lifeboat

Welcome to Wells RNLI

Wells-next-the-Sea RNLI Lifeboat Station 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.

Recent Services

11 April 2017

Pinewoods Caravan Park security contacted the Coxswain at 18:43 to say they had received a report from a member of the public that three persons and two dogs appeared to be cut off by the tide on the marsh edge south east of the boathouse. After observation by the Coxswain, the UK Coastguard were informed of the situation and subsequently a launch request was received. The ILB crew were paged at 18:58. As the crew were mustering at the boathouse, a small inflatable tender was observed to have collected two of the casualties and was attempting to row across the channel on a strong flood tide to the main sea defence but was making slow headway. The lifeboat arrived on scene at 19:06 to find the tender with three occupants on-board had managed to get ashore safely. The ILB then went to collect the remaining person and dogs from the marsh edge. With the party reunited and handed into the care of the local Coastguard Rescue Team the ILB returned to station at 19:21 was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 19:38.

Weather Part Cloudy Visibility Good Wind W 3/4 Sea Calm

27 March 2017

UK Coastguard requested the launch of the ILB after two people reported by mobile phone that they were in difficulties on the marshes 'opposite to the entrance to Pinewoods Holiday Camp'. Launching at 20:29 the ILB proceeded to the position first indicated but with no sign of the casualties re-located to Sluice Creek via Wells quay to resume the search. Having reached the upper limits of the creek with still no sighting of the casualties the crew requested UK Coastguard to contact the two persons to ask whether they could indicate their position from the ILB's searchlight. The casualties reported back that they were to the east of the ILB's position but were unable to give a distance. Returning to the main harbour channel the ILB then proceeded east and entered Mo Creek where, with assistance from the local Coastguard Rescue Team and the casualties showing a light, the two were located at 20:58. Returning to the boathouse at 21:10 the two casualties were handed into the care of the ambulance service. Both were showing signs of mild hypothermia but with blankets and hot drinks and a final assessment from the paramedics the couple were deemed fit enough to be transported to overnight accommodation in Wells, which had been hastily arranged for them, at 22:00.

Weather Misty Visibility Modertate Wind SE 2 Sea Calm

18 March 2017

An ILB launch request was received from UK Coastguard at 22:22 to assist two persons thought to be stranded in the marshes between Wells and Stiffkey. The first informant was the son of the casualties. The crew were paged at 22:26 with the ILB launching at 22:42 to proceed on the ebbing tide via Wells quay towards the marshes and Stiffkey. Arriving on scene at 22:55, the ILB was assisted by the first informant who had a powerful torch and was able to guide the lifeboat to the casualties on the marsh to the seaward side of Stonemeal creek. The lifeboat crew assisted the two persons and their two dogs into the lifeboat and ferried them and the first informant to the safety of the coastal path and into the care of the local Coastguard team.

The couple, who were understood to be visiting the area with their family, had walked out through the marshes to the East Hills with their dogs around 16:00 when the tide was out. As darkness fell, they became disorientated and could not find their way back before the incoming tide made it impossible for them to reach safety without help. Fortunately they had come to no harm and did not require any medical assistance.

With the casualties safely ashore, the lifeboat departed the scene at 23:11 and returned to station and was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 00:15.

Weather Part Cloudy Visibility Good Wind SW 2 Sea Calm

8 January 2017

The inshore lifeboat was requested to launch by Humber Coastguard after an aircraft had reported what appeared to be two oil slicks approximately 7.5 miles north west of Wells harbour with the possibility that a vessel may have sunk. The all-weather lifeboat crew were also requested to assemble as a precautionary measure. Launching at 13:20 from the boathouse the ILB arrived on scene at 13:50 and commenced a search of the area as determined by the coastguard. With nothing found, the lifeboat was then asked to carry out an additional search of an area 1.5 miles south-west of the original co-ordinates. Having completed this second search at 14:49, with nothing sighted, Humber Coastguard released the ILB to return to station. Arriving back at the boathouse at 15:04, the ILB was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 15:25.

Weather Cloudy Visibility Good Wind SW 2 Sea Calm

18 December 2016

Wells Lifeboat was diverted from a routine exercise at 09:00 to assist the 24' leisure fishing boat Patsy Lou which had suffered engine failure three miles north of Wells on passage to Grimsby with two persons on board. The lifeboat took her in tow at 09:18, arriving back in Wells and placing her on a mooring at 10:10. The lifeboat was recovered at the boathouse and re-housed, re-fueled and ready for service at 11:30.

Weather Part cloudy Visibility Good Wind WSW 2 Sea Slight

4 December 2016

Humber Coastguard paged for an immediate launch of the inshore lifeboat to assist in a search for people potentially in difficulty following the discovery of a forced entry to the beach slipway through a locked gate and tyre tracks leading into the sea. The ILB launched at 21.30 and commenced a search of the beach area and Holkham bay, with police, fire and coastguard also in attendance and searching on shore. The area was searched from Wells to Lady Anne's drive at Holkham but nothing conclusive was found. At 22.30 the ILB was stood down and was rehoused, refuelled and ready for service at 23.00

Weather Clear Visibility Good Wind SE 2 Sea Slight

Latest News

Westminster to Wells cycle ride for Lifeboat Fund

Tue 23 May 2017

Jon and Claire Davies with some of the crew at the end of their 5 day ride from London

Jon and Claire Davies with some of the crew at the end of their 5 day ride from London

Jon and Claire Davies who both work at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London cycled from Westminster to Wells to raise money for the Lifeboat Fund as part of its 150th Anniversary Appeal to contribute over £1m towards the cost of our forthcoming new Shannon-class lifeboat. The ride started on Friday 19th May at Tower RNLI on the Thames and covered over 250 miles cycling to Southwold, Lowestoft and Norwich before arriving in Wells today. Jon and Claire were welcomed by some of the crew and both boats on display behind the boathouse.

The ride has so far raised almost £1000 for the Lifeboat Fund's appeal which with widespread support from civil service personnel and others across the country stands at £890,000. We are grateful for their support as well as the contributions of all those who've donated to or fund raised for the appeal.

You can see some pictures from the ride on Jon and Claire's on Twitter at @jonandclaired and read more or contribute to their effort at the link below.

  Jon and Claire's JustGiving page

Shannon update

Fri 24 Feb 2017

Skegness' new Shannon lifeboat 13-17 arriving in Skegness on 28th January

Skegness' new Shannon lifeboat 13-17 arriving in Skegness on 28th January

Relief Shannon-class lifeboat 13-07 making a brief visit to Wells (5/2/17)

Relief Shannon-class lifeboat 13-07 making a brief visit to Wells (5/2/17)

Shannon class 13-07 approaching Wells harbour (5/2/17)

Shannon class 13-07 approaching Wells harbour (5/2/17)

Relief Shannon-class lifeboat 13-07 Reg made a flying visit to Wells earlier this month while on passage from Skegness to Lowestoft, with a crew led by Lowestoft Coxswain John Fox. Volunteers from Wells crew were invited aboard to examine the boat and her equipment.

The lifeboat had been in Skegness to assist in crew training as the station changed over from its Mersey class 12-008 Lincolnshire Poacher to a new Shannon class boat. The new boat 13-17 Joel and April Grunnill arrived in Skegness on 28th January after a four day passage from Poole, and officially went into service as Skegness lifeboat last week.

Work continues in Wells with plans and preparation for a new boathouse to house our forthcoming Shannon lifeboat, with an environmental study into the new building having been completed.

Surge tide 13/1/17

Sun 15 Jan 2017

Clearing up after the surge tide

Clearing up after the surge tide

Surge tides and stormy conditions on Friday passed without major incident in Wells though there was more serious damage just along the coast at Cley nature reserve and Salthouse. As is usual for potential flood conditions, a volunteer skeleton crew stood by the lifeboats from the early hours of Friday morning and again from mid afternoon for the evening's larger tide in case the boats were required as the boathouse may get cut off. The doors to the boathouse are opened and pinned back to prevent damage and allow the boats to be launched if necessary, allowing the tide to wash through the building. Today's planned exercise was cancelled so the crew could help clear out sand and shingle that had been dumped by the tide through the boathall.

See all news...

Wells Shannon
Lifeboat Appeal
target reached!

After 17 months fund-raising, we reached our target to raise £250,000 towards a new Shannon-class lifeboat for Wells and the North Norfolk coast.

We are hugely grateful to everyone who has donated, fund-raised, helped and supported us both locally and from right 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 appeal

And here's just some of the people and events that helped to make it happen... thank you page

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)2005-2014 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