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

Wells Lifeboat approaching two crew from FV 'Lainey' in the water, 5 November 2018

Wells Lifeboat approaching two crew from FV Lainey in the water, 5 November 2018Matt Schanck

5 November 2018

UK Coastguard requested the immediate launch of the all-weather lifeboat to a Mayday for fishing vessel Lainey, sinking with two crew on-board approximately 6 miles north-north-west of Wells. The ALB launched at 14.30 and proceeded to the casualty position. A Belgian military helicopter, already in the area, was first on scene and dropped a liferaft into the water and then held position above the casualties to assist location.

Windfarm vessel Seacat Magic arrived at 14.57 and stood by until the Wells Lifeboat arrived two minutes later. The Lainey having sunk, the two casualties, wearing lifejackets and holding on to life-rings, had been in the water for over 20 minutes. They were quickly recovered onto the lifeboat and given first aid. Rescue Helicopter 912 from Humberside arrived on scene and, at 15.06, winched the two casualties up from the lifeboat for transfer to Norwich and Norfolk hospital. Both men were later able to return home.

The lifeboat returned to station at 15.50 and was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 18.00.

Weather Fair Visibility Good Wind SE3 Sea Moderate

18 October 2018

Police were called at 10.45pm on Tuesday 17th October after an elderly woman was seen walking out onto the marsh at Morston and was thought to have possibly entered the water. Local coastguard officers attended and the inshore lifeboat was paged just after midnight to assist in a search. The ILB launched from the boathouse and searched Morston creek and adjoining creeks as well as west along the foreshore of Blakeney pit. Shortly after 1.30am a rescue helicopter arrived to search from Morston west to Stiffkey freshes. With no-one found and no further information, the search was called off at 3am and the ILB returned to Wells on the last of the tide to be recovered at the station.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind SW2 Sea Slight

26 September 2018

UK Coastguard requested Wells inshore lifeboat to assist a lady cut off by the incoming tide at the eastern end of Scolt Head island shortly before sunset. The lady was ferried back to the hard at Burnham Overy Staithe where she was met by local coastguard officers to ensure that all was well.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind SW3 Sea Slight

10 September 2018

The inshore lifeboat was paged to rescue a person and dog in difficulty in the quay near high water on a big spring tide. It is understood the dog had gone overboard from the tender, which was struggling under oars against the tide, and the person had then entered the water to retrieve the dog. On arrival, both person and dog were back aboard the tender which was lodged in shallow water over the submerged marsh, with the harbour launch standing by and in conversation but unable to reach them. The ILB crew brought the tender off the marsh and returned it and its occupants to their boat, which is moored in Sluice creek, where both could get dry and warm. Once safely back on-board, the lifeboat returned to station and was made ready for service again by 20:30.

Weather Cloudy Visibility Good Wind SW2 Sea Slight

26 August 2018

UK Coastguard requested the launch of Wells inshore lifeboat after a 999 call from four persons on a small outboard-powered open boat with engine failure drifting off Blakeney. The ILB launched on the last of the morning's tide and located the vessel at anchor approximately 3 miles east of Blakeney fairway. The boat was taken in tow into Blakeney but there was insufficient water left to take it further into the harbour than just inside the point. The boat was securely anchored and then one member of the inshore lifeboat crew escorted the four persons on foot over the sands onto the marsh and thence to Morston, to be met by local coastguards. Meanwhile, the ILB departed to avoid being grounded until the next tide, returning to Holkham beach for a low water recovery.

Weather Cloudy Visibility Good Wind SW3 Sea Slight

Latest News

Battle's Over - Armstice Day 2018

Mon 5 Nov 2018

A national tribute will take place this Sunday November 11 to mark 100 years since the end of the World War I.

In Wells, wreaths will be laid at the war memorial at 4.30pm and a special service, to which all are invited, will be held in a marquee on the quayside at 5.30pm. As in other years, members of the lifeboat crew will join other services and groups within the town at the memorial and then march to the service on the quay (rather than to the church as usual).

The beacon in the harbour will be lit at 7pm as one of over 1000 beacons to be lit in salute. It is planned that both lifeboats will be launched at the boathouse early on the tide around 6.30pm to come up to the quay during the beacon lighting.

Wells lifeboat marks the next chapter of lifesaving

Sun 9 Sep 2018

Crew members and guests with our current all-weather lifeboat Doris M Mann of Ampthill

Crew members and guests with our current all-weather lifeboat Doris M Mann of Ampthill

Sir Mark Sedwill, Chair of The Lifeboat Fund and Sarah, Countess of Leicester, unveiling the plaque

Sir Mark Sedwill, Chair of The Lifeboat Fund and Sarah, Countess of Leicester, unveiling the plaque

A plaque was unveiled today at Wells Lifeboat Station to mark the successful conclusion of The Lifeboat Fund's appeal to provide £1.1M towards the cost of the station's new Shannon-class lifeboat and boathouse.

The Civil Service charity The Lifeboat Fund has supported the RNLI for over 150 years and its 150th Anniversary Appeal set out to raise money for a new all-weather lifeboat for Wells. The plaque honours a generous legacy donation from retired civil servant Miss Louene Smith which took the fund to its target and provided a further £100,000 which will go towards the cost of building the new boathouse.

The Lifeboat Fund's support, along with other donations, including a local appeal which raised over £250,000, will enable crew and volunteers at Wells Lifeboat Station to begin a new chapter of lifesaving on the North Norfolk coast.

RNLI volunteers, trustees and guests attended today's event, including Sir Mark Sedwill, Chair of the Lifeboat Fund, Sarah, Countess of Leicester, Cllr Michael Gates, Mayor of Wells-next-the-Sea and John Bines, RNLI Deputy Fundraising Director.

Sir Mark Sedwill, Chair of the Lifeboat Fund, said: 'Her generosity in donating a £445,000 legacy, along with the valiant fundraisers of The Lifeboat Fund, have allowed us to complete the £1.1M of fundraising for the 53rd lifeboat we have funded for the RNLI - and provide a further £100,000 funding for the new boathouse that will be the home of the new Shannon Class Lifeboat.'

Chris Hardy, Wells RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: 'On behalf of the volunteer crew and everyone associated with the RNLI Lifeboat Station in Wells, we are deeply indebted to The Lifeboat Fund for its incredible fundraising efforts towards the cost of our new Shannon lifeboat and what a marvellous way this is for the Fund to mark its 150th anniversary of raising money for the RNLI.'

'We also acknowledge with thanks the generous legacy donation made by Miss Louene Smith, which closed The Lifeboat Fund appeal earlier this year. The money will be used to fund the earlery shore works associated with our new boathouse build, which will commence later this year.'

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Exercise Launches

Our next scheduled exercise launches are shown below. You are welcome to come and watch the lifeboats launch on the beach at the front of the lifeboat house... but please ensure you keep well to one side and that children are supervised. Exercises may be cancelled or rescheduled at short notice due to operational reasons.

Sunday 11 November 18:30
It is intended to launch both lifeboats to attend the lighting of the beacon at 7pm during the Battle's Over tribute on the quayside.

Friday 23 November 08:00

Sunday 9 December 09:00

Thursday 27 December 09:00

Shannon Latest

Planning permission has now been granted for a new lifeboat station at Wells to house our forthcoming Shannon-class all weather lifeboat. It is expected that building work will start in the Autumn of 2018 and take around 18 months to complete. The new Shannon class lifeboat should then come into service in the Spring or Summer of 2020.

Funding for the new lifeboat was raised 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 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 station appeal

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