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

30 July 2017

Both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats were attending a lifeboat festival at Wells quayside when a motor vehicle was observed to enter the water at the yacht club slipway and sink rapidly. Informing UK Coastguard of the situation, the inshore lifeboat was tasked at 12:48 to attend and to ascertain whether there were any persons trapped in the submerged vehicle. On arrival the crew were advised that the occupant was safe but remained on scene to assist the harbour staff to connect a tow rope to the vehicle for recovery. On completion of the recovery the ILB returned to station and was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 14:20.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind SW 2 Sea Slight

29 July 2017

UK Coastguard requested the launch of the inshore lifeboat at 12:53 to locate and assist an overdue dinghy at Burnham Overy. A family member had raised concerns following the late return of the dinghy. The crew were paged at 12:56 but the launched was cancelled at 13:02 after the local Coastguard Rescue Team relayed that the dinghy and occupant had been found safely ashore.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind SW 2 Sea Slight

20 July 2017

While towing the Sabena H towards Wells on the previous service, UK Coastguard launched the Skegness all-weather lifeboat to assist the 22' yacht Mera Monte which was on passage from Great Yarmouth to Newcastle. The outboard engine had failed, the sail halyard become jammed and the vessel had lost VHF communications. After a search assisted by a nearby commercial vessel, Skegness Lifeboat located the yacht some 7nm north of Wells and took her in tow towards Wells as the nearest refuge. Having handed the Sabena H to the Frank T, Wells lifeboat proceeded to meet up with the Skegness boat and took over the tow, heading briskly back to enter the harbour at the tail end of the ebb. The lifeboat arrived in the outer harbour at 19:40 and the yacht was safely moored on the pontoons. The lifeboat was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 21:00.

Weather Part cloudy Visibility Good Wind W 3-4 Sea Slight

20 July 2017

On leaving the quay from the previous shout, the lifeboat was tasked to go back to sea to assist the 65' barge Sabena H with 2 persons on-board which was having difficulty making headway towards Wells in poor weather off Weybourne. The ALB located the casualty at 16:15 in moderate sea conditions and put a crew man on-board to assist with setting up a tow. The vessels arrived at Wells fairway at 18:20 where the tow was transferred to the harbour vessel Frank T which had kindly come out to assist as the lifeboat was required to attend a third call and the tide was fast ebbing away. The Frank T safely moored the barge near the outer harbour at 18:50.

Weather Squally Visibility Good Wind W 4-5 Sea Slight-Moderate

20 July 2017

A launch request was received from UK Coastguard requesting the lifeboat to launch to assist the 38’ motor yacht Sea Mist. The vessel had suffered engine failure to seaward of Wells bar and needed help to cross and enter the harbour in squally conditions. The all-weather lifeboat lauched at 14:35 and arrived alongside the casualty at 14:45 to pass a tow. The vessel was moored at the quayside pontoons at 15: 27 and the ALB departed towards the Boathouse.

Weather Squally Visibility Occ. poor Wind W 4 Sea Slight-Moderate

11 July 2017

The inshore lifeboat was requested to launch by UK Coastguard to assist two adults and a dog who had reported they were having difficulties paddling their three man kayak against a strong ebb tide within Blakeney harbour but had managed to secure the boat to a channel marker to await help. The ILB crew were paged at 12:34 and launching at 12:43 on the last of the ebb tide. The lifeboat arrived on scene at 12:59 and took the casualties, dog and kayak on-board before making for Morston Creek. On approaching the creek, the water was now no more than calf-deep so the crew and casualties pulled the kayak to the marsh edge where the local Coastguard unit was waiting to assist them ashore. The ILB was released at 13:42 to return for a low water recovery on the west side of the harbour entrance and was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 15:01.

Weather Part cloudy Visibility Good Wind SW 3 Sea Slight

8 July 2017

The Inshore Lifeboat was paged at 15:51 to two persons and a child cut off by the incoming tide on the foreshore on the west side of the harbour channel. The child managed to reach safety however the parents were both rescued just in time as the incoming tide had significantly covered the spit of sand they had been standing on. The two adults reunited with their child were ferried to the safety of the beach close to the boathouse and the Inshore Lifeboat returned to Station at 16:20.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind N 2 Sea Slight

7 July 2017

Both lifeboats had just successfully completed a training exercise when Humber Coastguard tasked the Inshore Lifeboat to assist the local 23' day cruiser Fish Tails with one person onboard which had engine failure approximately 1 mile to seaward of the East Hills. Local angling vessel Whitby Crest, which was close to the fairway at the time, was also tasked by the Coastguard and stood by whilst the Inshore Lifeboat attached the tow. The casualty was towed back into Wells harbour was safely back on her mooring by 20:30.

Weather Part cloudy Visibility Good Wind SE 2 Sea Slight

7 July 2017

Just before a scheduled practice launch, Wells Inshore Lifeboat was paged to a person cut off by the tide on the west side of the harbour channel. The Lifeboat arrived on scene and it was apparent that the casualty was in fact a known local Kayaker who was fishing in the approaches to the harbour and all was in fact well. The initial call out was well intentioned and it was possible that the Kayak may have blended in with the surroundings when viewed from ashore.

Weather Part cloudy Visibility Good Wind SE 2 Sea Slight

6 July 2017

The Inshore Lifeboat was paged at 18:52 to take over the tow from Cromer Lifeboat of a 28' motor cruiser Double Trouble with six persons onboard. The cruiser developed serious engine problems off Cromer while on passage from Great Yarmouth to Denver Sluice. The ILB launched and took over the tow from the Cromer Lifeboat at the harbour entrance around 19:30, towing the casualty to a safe berth in the outer harbour.

Weather Part cloudy Visibility Good Wind SE 2 Sea Slight

ALB launch, 25 June 2017

ALB launching on service to Blakeney, 25 June 2017

25 June 2017

Two persons called for assistance from a small tender in Blakeney pit. One had fallen into the water while transferring to the dinghy from a yacht but had since managed to get on-board. Both, however, were unable to make way under oars against the wind and a strong ebb and had made fast to a mooring buoy close to the sailing vessel Juno. The inshore lifeboat launched at 21:42 and the all-weather lifeboat shortly after at 21:55 to provide safety cover due to the poor sea conditions. At 22:20, the ILB located the casualty, transferring the two persons, who were cold and wet but otherwise well, to the lifeboat and taking the tender under tow. They were landed on Blakeney Point where they were staying at the old lifeboat house and could change into dry clothing and warm up. Now in darkness, the ALB had entered Blakeney harbour channel to meet up with the ILB. At 22:36, the two lifeboats departed Blakeney and returned to Wells, with the ILB running close astern of the ALB for shelter. The boats were re-housed, re-fueled and ready again for service by midnight.

Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind W4-5 Sea Slight-Moderate

18 June 2017

UK Coastguard requested the inshore lifeboat to assist the small power vessel Loose Cannon with 2 persons onboard with machinery failure west of Blakeney Point. The ILB was already afloat attending a Guild fundraising event at Wells quayside and diverted to the incident. Arriving on scene at 13:31 the ILB began a tow to Morston Creek where the casualty vessel was safely moored at 14:00. Departing at 14:02, the ILB returned to station at 14:29 and was re-housed, re-fuelled and ready for service at 14:55

Weather Part cloudy Visibility Good Wind NW 2 Sea Slight

25 May 2017

UK Coastguard contacted the station after receiving a report from a concerned member of the public stating that a person looked to be cut off by the tide on the west side of the harbour channel in the vicinity of the harbour entrance. The ILB crew were paged at 16:25 but as they were preparing to launch, the reported casualty was observed from the boathouse to have taken to a kayak and was in no imminent danger. The crew were stood down at 16:35 without launching.

Weather Part Cloudy Visibility Good Wind SE 3 Sea Slight

Latest News

Fundraising for Tommy's

Wed 12 Jul 2017

Wells RNLI station's former Divisional Operations Manager Neil Hancock will be running The Great North Run in September raising funds for Tommy's, a charity which funds research into pregnancy problems and provide pregnancy health information for prospective parents. Neil has worked for the RNLI in various roles for over 38 years but says nothing he's seen there had prepared him for a tragedy that overtook his family last year. 

You can read more of Neil's story and support his fund-raising effort at the link below...


Sheringham lifeboat celebrates 150th anniversary

Wed 12 Jul 2017

Congratulations to our flank station at Sheringham which is celebrating 150 years as an RNLI station this Sunday 16th July. There will be a parade from Station Road car park to Lifeboat Plain at 13:00, the unveiling of a plaque and then various displays and activities around the town until 17:30. All are welcome to attend.

  More information...

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.

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