The RNLI Lifeboat Station in Wells-next-the-Sea 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.
Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind S5 Sea Slight
The lifeboat launched at 15:38 on high-water and proceeded towards the last position of the yacht which was offshore between Salthouse and Weybourne. The lifeboat sighted the yacht at 16:20 and went alongside the craft which by this time had drifted a further two miles eastward in the seaway. The lifeboat put a crewmember onboard and assessed the situation. With the headwind expected to remain light overnight, the best course of action was decided to tow the vessel to Wells. The tow commenced at 16:50 and the lifeboat and yacht arrived off the harbour entrance at 18:50 where they just managed to get across the bar on the last of the ebbing tide and safely into the harbour. The yacht was made fast on a swinging mooring and the crewmember was transferred back to the lifeboat which then went ashore for recovery at 19:20.
Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NW2 Sea Slgiht
The inshore lifeboat arrived on scene at 19:55 but the onshore sea and swell conditions would have made it very difficult to reach the person cut off from seaward. As it was then high water it was quickly ascertained that the person was not in immediate danger and it would be best if the person was assisted to safety from the shore by the local coastguard team as the tide ebbed away. At 20:09 the inshore lifeboat was released and returned immediately to Wells harbour as daylight was fading and the wind-over-tide sea conditions were starting to become challenging. The ILB was ashore at 20:25. The all-weather lifeboat stood by offshore until 20:30 and then returned to Station. Subsequently, a Coastguard helicopter was tasked to the incident and winched the casualty to safety at 21:45, departing the scene at 22:00. Both boats were rehoused, refuelled and ready again for service at 22:00.
Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NE3 Sea Moderate
The lifeboat and fishing vessel reached the harbour entrance at 10:09 where the tow was shortened up as the sea conditions, with the wind against a fast ebbing tide, had resulted in a fair amount of white water and breaking waves on the bar. By 10:25 the vessels had managed to cross the bar and reach the calmer water of the outer harbour. At 10:50 the fishing vessel was moored on the outer harbour pontoons and the lifeboat returned to station. It was ashore at 11:15 and rehoused and refuelled by 12:30.
Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NE4 Sea Moderate
Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NE3 Sea Slight
Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind NE3 Sea Slight/Moderate
Weather Fine Visibility Good Wind SW2 Sea Slight
Wells RNLI is proud to congratulate long-serving crew member, tractor driver and mechanic Philip Eaglen who has been awarded with a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services in the 2020 honours list. Phil retired recently after serving the RNLI and Wells lifeboat station for 51 years, in addition to being a volunteer fire fighter for 27 years.
Phil officially joined as shore crew in 1969 although had been around the lifeboat station from the age of 15 helping out on the beach when the lifeboat was required to launch. During his time, he has held a number of roles including Head Tractor Driver, crewman and mechanic on the all-weather lifeboat as well as full-time mechanic at the station, ensuring the lifeboat was always ready to respond when a call came in.
Phil said: “I can't believe it, being honoured for doing what I enjoy. I’m just one of a team of dedicated lifesavers, and have been for more than 50 years. We have a serious job to do but it's very rewarding.”
Five other RNLI volunteers, from Aberystwyth, Cleethorpes, Southend, The Lizard and Weston super-Mare, were also recognised in the New year’s Honours.
Work has started on building a new lifeboat station for Wells RNLI at Wells next the Sea.
Completion is expected in 2022 and the new Wells Shannon class lifeboat, which was part funded by a successful local campaign in 2014-2015 and part by the Civil Service charity The Lifeboat Fund, will arrive in Wells shortly afterwards.
The new, bigger boathouse is required to house the Shannon class lifeboat which will replace the now 30 year old current Mersey Class lifeboat 12-003 Doris M Mann of Ampthill. With the RNLI's newest, purpose-built Shannon lifeboat, the rescue service provided by the volunteer crew at Wells will be using the best equipment available to make their job safer, faster and more effective. The boathouse will be located beside the beach bank near the Beach Café and the Coastwatch hut and will replace the old boathouse which is more than 125 years old.
The RNLI and Wells Lifeboat Station will be working closely with the contractors, JT Mackley and Reside Construction, the Port of Wells and Holkham Estate to ensure that safe access to the beach and the car park is maintained for members of the public throughout the project. Regular updates will be posted on our website as well as being signposted at the beach car park, the Beach Cafe and Pinewoods. We will be posting images and reports of the progress of the project on a new boathouse build page.
Please get in touch via our contact form or by e-mail if you have any queries relating to the project.
Phase 1 of building work on our new lifeboat station is nearing completion. See boathouse build pages for more information.
The new building will will take around 18 months to complete with work preparing the foundations and piling for the building and ramp scheduled to take place from September 2020 to May 2021.
The building is required to house our forthcoming new Shannon-class lifeboat which was funded 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
Wells lifeboats and the lifeboat crew remain operational and ready to launch if needed during the coronavirus outbreak. New procedures have been adopted during service calls, training and exercises to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. For example, crews muster outside the boathouse before a service call and only those selected remain on station and boats, equipment and the boathouse are cleaned and sanitised after use.
All public visits to the lifeboat station are cancelled. Please do not enter the boathouse except by prior arrangement.
All our usual public and fund-raising events and activities over the year have also had to be cancelled, including our annual lifeboat service and our open day and open evenings. We're sorry not to be able to meet and chat with you as we usually do and thank you for your support during these difficult times.
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.
Please note that at present there is no public access to the lifeboat station. This is due to coronavirus restrictions and also because the beach by the lifeboat station has been closed while building works take place for our new lifeboat station. If you would like to watch the boats launching, you would be welcome to do so from the ramp from the beach bank path down to the beach or from the main Wells beach itself but please stay clear of the station and the building works.
Sunday 16 May 08:00
Sunday 30 May 08:00
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