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 2020

UK Coastguard paged the inshore lifeboat after receiving a 999 call from two persons who had become cut off by the tide while walking out past Stiffkey marshes. The ILB launched at 16:10 and proceeded out of the harbour towards Stiffkey. Sheringham and Wells coastguards were also tasked and established contact with the two persons and assisted in guiding the lifeboat to their position in rapidly fading light. The ILB picked the two persons up at 16:37 and made its way through the creeks to pass them to waiting coastguards at 16:42. No medical assistance was needed. The ILB was released to return to station and was rehoused and refueled and ready again for service by 17:30.

Weather Cloudy Visibility Good Wind WNW3 Sea Slight

27 October 2019

The inshore lifeboat launched again to assist stranded charter vessel Salford. The vessel had settled at an extreme angle, half caught on a mud bank at the edge of the creek, as the tide had ebbed, and an attempt was being made to refloat her on the evening tide. A team had taken a pump and equipment out to the boat. The ILB arrived at 16:03 and was subsequently joined by the harbour launch. Despite their combined efforts, the vessel downflooded on the rising tide and, while it was moved some distance and brought more upright, the effort had to be abandoned at 17:00, leaving the vessel partly submerged. The ILB returned to station at 17:24. The Salford was subsequently refloated and recovered to the East End the following day.

Weather Part cloudy Visibility Good Wind W2 Sea Smooth

27 October 2019

The inshore lifeboat crew were paged at 05:56 to assist the vessel Salford which had been stranded in the creeks the night before. The boat's skipper had stayed on-board, and with the boat refloated on the morning tide had made some way back towards Wells but had run aground on a mud bank to one side of the creek, leaving the boat stuck fast and heeled over. The inshore lifeboat launched at 06:11 but was unable to free the vessel and, at 06:42, brought the skipper safely ashore before returning to station at 07:03.

Weather Part cloudy Visibility Good Wind W3 Sea Slight

Latest News

150th anniversary vellum

Wed 17 Jul 2019

150th anniversary sail past in the quay

150th anniversary sail past in the quay

Flotilla in quay... (l-r) Shannon, Liverpool, Oakley, Mersey and D-class

Flotilla in quay... (l-r) Shannon, Liverpool, Oakley, Mersey and D-class

Wells Lifeboat celebrated its 150th anniversary as an RNLI station this week. The town has had a lifeboat from around 1830 and became a Royal National Lifeboat Institution station in 1869, with a new lifeboat, the Eliza Adams being delivered by rail and placed on service in a new specially built boathouse on the quay (now used as the harbour office).

The anniversary was marked by a week of events including a week-long exhibition at the Maltings and a presentation and open day on 13th July. The RNLI's Chief Executive Mark Dowie presented the station with a 150th anniversary vellum at a presentaion at the boathouse at which award for long serving volunteers were also presented... 20 years for Deputy Second Coxswain Martin Emerson, 40 years for crew member Fred Whitaker and 50 years for tractor driver and emergency mechanic Phil Eaglen. 

Phil joined the crew age 17 in 1967 as a launcher and became, for many years, the station's head tractor driver as well as an emergency mechanic on the all-weather lifeboat crew. Now past normal retirement age, he continues to be a mainstay of the station assisting the full-time Coxswain/mechanic during the transition to the new Shannon station.

After the presentation, the station was opened to the public with historic lifeboats on view on the outer harbour pontoons. These were joined by a relief Shannon class lifeboat (the type that will soon serve at Wells) kindly brought round from Lowestoft by Lowestoft Coxswain John Fox and a volunteer crew.

Five lifeboats, spanning some 78 years, then sailed together up to the quay... the current station  Mersey class Doris M Mann of Ampthill and our inshore lifeboat Peter Wilcox, single-screw Liverpool class Lucy Lavers, built 1940 and a Dunkirk Little Ship which served on relief at Wells in 1963/64, Oakley class Enerst Tom Neathercoat Wells station boat from 1965 to 1990 and the Shannon 13-26 John Metters. A large crowd greeted the boats at the quay with a commentary kindly provided by the harbour master.

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Shannon Latest

Planning permission has been granted for a new lifeboat station at Wells to house our forthcoming Shannon-class all weather lifeboat but legal work relating to the new site has taken longer than expected and we are now hoping that building work will be able to start in Spring 2020. This will take around 18 months to complete so our new Shannon-class lifeboat should then come into service late in 2021.

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

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.

Thursday 9 January 17:00
Regular exercise

Thursday 23 January 17:00
Regular exercise

Sunday 2 February 09:30
Regular exercise

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)2005-2019 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