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.
The second phase of our new boathouse project is now underway, with the first parts of the frame for the new boathouse building being installed today. See boathouse build pages for more.
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
The crew and everyone at RNLI Wells would like to offer our Chairman, Deputy Launching Authority and erstwhile Lifeboat Operations Manager Peter Rainsford our congratulations on his 70th birthday today. Our thanks for his continued voluntary service behind the scenes, in front of the press and cameras as well as responding at any time of the day or night to the Coastguard when the lifeboat is needed and being down the boathouse during shouts. We hope you have a great day Peter and trust you'll be out sailing first thing on the morning's tide.
Wells' new Shannon lifeboat will carry the names of up to 10,000 people within the white letters and numbers – RNLI 13-46 – on the sides of her hull. The RNLI's Launch A Memory service allows people to celebrate a loved one by adding their name to a lifeboat in return for a donation to help with the running costs of the charity's lifesaving service. Wells' new Shannon has been chosen as the third lifeboat to take part in the scheme and the first in England after new boats being built for Invergorden in Scotland and Cliffden in Ireland.
At a launch on Wells beach this morning, crew members and some of the local people whose loved ones will be among the first names to be be commemorated on the new Shannon met with the local press.
Among them were the family of Campbell MacCallum who for many years was the station's unofficial photographer following an illustrious career as a photographer which started in swinging sixties London. Campbell's photographs have graced the history of the station, his 1979 big set piece 'rescue poster' of crew and boats and other local rescue services travelling around the world and becoming a regular tradition at Wells and other lifeboat stations.
If you'd like to take this opportunity for Wells' new Shannon to carry a name special to you, please visit the RNLI's Launch A Memory pages where you can enter your details. There is a suggested minimum donation of £50 and the funds wil be used to continue running the RNLI's lifesaving rescue service in Wells and at over 200 lifeboat stations around the UK.
Participants can keep up with regular updates on the progress of the new boat as she is built, tested and put into service and will have access to an on-line viewer which shows exactly where on the boat their chosen name will be placed.Launch A Memory - Wells... details and entry form
Once the building of our new boathouse is completed, on schedule for next Spring, there will be a transition period of a few months during which we will use both buildings until we are fully operational as a Shannon station in the new boathouse, towards the end of 2022. During this transition, we will remain ready to launch at any time, day or night.
We will retain our inshore lifeboat (ILB) and with our new Shannon class lifeboat, ready for service, say goodbye to "Doris" our faithful 32 year old Mersey class all-weather lifeboat as she leaves Wells and retires into the relief fleet. At that point we will have no further need for the old boathouse and it will be decommissioned.
Under the terms of our lease, and as a condition of the RNLI gaining planning permission for the new boathouse, the current structure, parts of which are over 100 years old, will be dismantled, significant artifacts and station records integrated into the new build or archived. The integrity of the sea walls will be maintained; the site cleared and cleaned and subsequently returned to Holkham Estate. Any future plans for the site will be a matter for others to decide.
The second phase of our new boathouse project is now underway, with the first parts of the frame for the new boathouse building being installed. 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 having taken 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 due to coronavirus restrictions. You are welcome to watch the boats launch from the beach beside the lifeboat station which has recently reopened now that the first stage of construction on the new lifeboat station has been completed. Please keep clear of the building site.
Thursday 10 June 18:00
Thursday 24 June 17:30
Sunday 11 July 08:00
Monday 26 July 18:30
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