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

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

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.

2016 statistics

Fri 13 Jan 2017

In 2016 Wells' lifeboats launched on service 38 times; the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) 12 times and the inshore lifeboat (ILB) 26. This included 14 services to walkers and people on shore, including cut off by tide and injured requiring medical assistance, twelve to yachts and leisure craft, including machinery failure, grounding, sinking and dismasting, seven to dinghies and kayaks, including capsized, equipment failure and found adrift, two to commercial vessels, machinery failure and a liferaft found drifting.

The station is presently manned by 40 volunteers; 23 crew, 8 shore helpers and 9 admin, and supported by the Lifeboat Guild with 40 volunteer fundraisers. We are always looking out for willing hands so if you would like to join us, please get in touch.

Coxswain Tony Jordan

Monday 19 December


We are sad to learn that former Wells lifeboat Coxswain A T Jordan passed away on Monday 19 December, age 85. A Wells fisherman, well-known, much loved and highly regarded right along the Norfolk coast, Tony joined the crew in 1946, moving to 2nd Coxswain in 1971 and being appointed Coxswain in 1986. He retired in 1989 and subsequently served on the Station Branch Committee until 2004. He remained, until very recently, a familiar face at station events.

Tony's funeral will be at St Nicholas Church in Wells at 1.30pm on 29th December. Family flowers only - donations for the RNLI and St Nicholas Church c/o T Sutton, Funeral Directors, Burnt Street, Wells.

Shannon update

Mon 19 Dec 2016

Behind-the-scenes work is now well underway for the arrival of the station's new Shannon class lifeboat. We have met with the project engineer for the new boathouse to house the new lifeboat and an environmental study, which has to be completed as part of the planning process, has commenced. We have seen some options for the design of the building and had an opportunity to feed in our own wish list. We hope to be able to set a date for an afternoon next March for a public presentation of the plans; details of the date and venue will be announced nearer the time.

The cost of the new lifeboat has been met by generous donations and legacies including a local appeal which raised £250,000 from supporters and public in the local area and across the UK. The Lifeboat Fund, a civil service charity which has long raised money for lifeboats is also supporting us, aiming to raise £1.1m towards the new boat in its 150th Anniversary Appeal.

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