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

15 July 2018

A member of the public reported an inflatable kayak possibly in difficulty in Holkham bay. UK Coastguard requested the assistance of Wells ILB which was paged at 15.10 and proceeded towards the low-water launch site on Holkham beach, towed by the station's Softrak launching vehicle. At 15.31 the Softrak met with the first informant and then proceeded towards the location where it was now thought the kayak had come ashore. At 15.40 the ILB located the kayak ashore with its occupants now with their parents. With all well, the ILB was stood down and returned to the boathouse.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NE 2-3

1 July 2018

The Coastguard requested assistance with a medical evacuation from Wells beach which local Coastguard officers were attending. The ILB was paged at 18.20 but as the casualty was lying in a position near the boathouse, it was decided not to launch the boat. The crew made their way on foot and rendered first aid before placing the casualty onto a stretcher. The ILB's Softrak launching vehicle was then used to transport the casualty off the beach to meet with an ambulance.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NE 3-4

30 June 2018

The inshore lifeboat was tasked by the coastguard, along with a helicopter, to assist in a medical evacuation of an injured person from Blakeney point. As the ILB was leaving Wells Harbour, it was established that local rangers had been able to move the casualty to Cley beach car park where an ambulance would shortly be able to attend to them. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to the boathouse and was rehoused and ready again for service by 19:00.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NE 3 Sea Slight

29 June 2018

The Coastguard paged at 21.58 requesting the inshore lifeboat to proceed through the marsh to Stiffkey to search for and render assistance to 3 persons (1 adult and 2 children) seen to disembark from small craft which had become stuck on mud on the falling tide and thought to possibly be in trouble. The ILB launched at 22.15. It was late on the ebb tide and it was not clear if there would be sufficient water to reach Stiffkey via Stonemeal creek. With moderate conditions close inshore to seaward, the all-weather lifeboat was then launched to provide cover for the ILB's return which would have had to have been out to sea from Stiffkey. The ILB could not get through Stonemeal Creek and returned past the boathouse to rendezvous with the all-weather boat which then escorted it across the bar and on the seaward passage round to Stiffkey.

The Coastguard also tasked helicopter Rescue163 from Lydd, to assist. With boat boats off the search area, an additional crewman was transferred to the inshore lifeboat and an attempt was made to put two men ashore to reach the search area on foot. The conditions were difficult and with a surf running and a fast ebbing tide and no indication of immediate risk to life, it was decided not to put the ILB and crew at risk but to wait for the helicopter to arrive and carry out its search.

Both boats stood by just offshore until the helicopter arrived at 00:40 and began a search using its infra-red imaging equipment. Local coastguards had by now not observed any people in the vicinity of the search for some time and the helicopter, working in good search conditions, could not locate any persons on the marsh. At 01:15, both lifeboats were stood down and returned to Holkham Bay for a low water recovery. The boats were ashore at 01:55 and back in the boathouse, refuelled and ready for service, by 03:15.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NE 3-4 Sea Locally moderate

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NE 3 Sea Slight

26 June 2018

Two persons and a dog walking via the marshes and sands from Stiffkey to Wells via a route last used by them some 15 years ago arrived on Bob Hall sands on the seaward side of the harbour channel just as the tide had started to flood. They were unable to cross the (relatively new) dredged channel. The Wells lifeboat mechanic observed their difficulty from the boathouse and advised them not to try to cross but to wait for assistance. The ILB was paged at 15:35, launching at 15:45, and recovered the casualties and their dog, landing them on the beach by the boathouse. The ILB was re-housed, refuelled and ready for service at 16.15

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NE 3 Sea Slight

17 June 2018

Wells Inshore Lifeboat was paged at 06:01 on Sunday morning to assist in the search for a male in his 70s who had gone missing the previous evening while walking in the area of Titchwell beach and marshes. Local coastguard teams from Wells and Hunstanton had, with the assistance of the Search and Rescue helicopter and Hunstanton Lifeboat, searched the coastal region extensively on Saturday evening into the early hours. The ILB was requested to search into the creeks and marshes on the flooding tide.

Launching at 06:22, the ILB arrived on scene at 06:56, entering into the marshes at Titchwell drain and carrying out an extensive search of the creeks in conjunction with the local coastguard, as well as making a sweep into Thornham and Brancaster. At 9:41 the ILB was stood down and returned to station and was refuelled and ready again for service at 10:45.

The search meanwhile continued with the addition of coastguard teams from Cromer and Sheringham along with USAR, Norfolk police with dedicated POLSA (Police Search Adviser), specialist search dogs and Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue. A sighting of the missing person called in by a member of the public, an image captured by an animal camera trap placed in the bird reserve and footprints found by Wells ILB during the morning's search helped to focus the search on an area of dense reed bed at the southern edge of the marsh.

At 14:35 a police drone located the casualty in the reeds, trapped in mud and water but alive. The drone helped to guide Coastguard and USAR rescue team to his position where he was extracted onto an inflatable sledge. He was then winched to safety by the Search and Rescue helicopter and subsequently taken to hospital by the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind SW 3 Sea Slight

9 June 2018

UK Coastguard requested the launch of Wells Lifeboat just after 4pm to assist a 10m fishing boat Mia Blue with steering failure. The crew were paged and the boat launched at 16:26. The Border Force vessel Special Alert also headed out of Blakeney harbour to stand by the casualty until the lifeboat arrived. Just before 5pm, the lifeboat took the fishing boat in tow, taking her safely to her mooring in Blakeney harbour.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind SW 3 Sea Slight

Latest News

Fakenham & District Darts League donation

Saturday 30 June 2018

Angela Raimondo and Jenny Williamson with chairman Peter Rainsford and volunteers from the crew

Angela Raimondo and Jenny Williamson with chairman Peter Rainsford and volunteers from the crew

Angie (l) and Jenny (r) present cheques to Coxswain Nicky King

Angie (l) and Jenny (r) present cheques to Coxswain Nicky King

Continuing a long-running tradition of support for Wells lifeboat, representatives from Fakenham and District Darts League and the General Townshend Club in Fakenham presented the station with a donation of £1351 on Saturday morning. Angela Raimonodo and Jenny Williamson, both Captains of Ladies teams within the league, were welcomed by our chairman Peter Rainsford and met with members of the volunteer crew. The money was raised during a series of matches over the year.

Darts players in and around Fakenham have been regularly raising money for the station for many years in a tradition originally started by Mary Rumbold, landlady of the Fakenham Star pub. The crew are grateful for their support.

Planning permission granted for new Boathouse

Thursday 28 June 2018

Artist's impression of new boathouse at Wells

Artist's impression of new boathouse at Wells

Long awaited planning permission for a new boathouse for Wells lifeboat has been granted today by North Norfolk District Council. The new boathouse will be built close to the existing one by the slipway at the end of the Beach bank. The RNLI submitted the plans to replace the existing building in November 2017.

The new lifeboat station design was conceived to provide the extra space needed to accommodate the new Shannon lifeboat and to upgrade the volunteer crew's facilities to a standard befitting the next generation of lifesavers. Space will also be created within the station to enable greater use by the local community and visitors alike. As well as providing more space for the lifeboats and launching vehicles, there will be improved crew facilities with showers, a drying room, inter-active training areas and conference facilities. The public has always been encouraged to visit the station but will now have the advantage of a more interactive experience with improved viewing areas.

Lifeboat Operations Manager, Chris Hardy said, "We're very excited about the plans for the new station, although naturally we'll be sad to say goodbye to the current boathouse. It has a long and distinguished history and it has served us well in providing a base for saving lives at sea."

Wells RNLI Chairman Peter Rainsford said, "We've been working on this project for several years. It is great news for the crew, volunteers and the local community that construction is about to commence."

It is expected that building work will begin in the autumn and will take about eighteen months to complete. The new Shannon Class lifeboat come into service in the spring or summer of 2020.

See all news...

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