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Couple and two dogs rescued from the marshes by Wells RNLI lifeboat at night.

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer lifeboat crew of Wells RNLI inshore lifeboat were paged at 10:26pm on Saturday night (18 March) to assist two people who had been cut off by the tide in the marsh between Wells and Stiffkey.

The lifeboat was launched shortly after and proceeded on the ebbing tide via Wells Quay towards the marshes.

The person who alerted the emergency services, who was the son of those cut off, had a powerful torch and was able to guide the lifeboat to the casualties who were on the marsh to the seaward side of Stonemeal creek.

The lifeboat crew assisted the two people and their two dogs onto the lifeboat and ferried them, and their son, to the safety of the coastal path and into the care of the local UK Coastguard rescue team.

The couple, who were understood to be visiting the area with their family, had walked out to the East Hills with their dogs at around 4pm when the tide was out. However, as darkness fell, they became disorientated and could not find their way back before the rapidly incoming tide made it impossible for them to reach safety without help.

Fortunately they had come to no harm and did not require any medical assistance.

With the casualties safely ashore, the lifeboat returned to Wells RNLI lifeboat station and was ready again for service at 12.15am on Sunday 19 March.

RNLI media contacts

  • John Mitchell, Wells-Next-the-Sea Volunteer Lifeboat Press 01328 710882 / 07831103166 /
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) 0207 6207426 / 07785 296252

Notes to Editors

Supporters of Wells RNLI have raised, in under 18 months, more than £250,000 in a public appeal for their new lifeboat. The Shannon is the RNLI’s latest class of lifeboat and will replace the current Mersey, which, after 25 years, is approaching the end of her operational life expectancy.

The £250,000 will go towards the £2.1m cost of the Shannon. She will also require a new boathouse as she is too large for the existing premises.

The Shannon uses water jet engines instead of propellers – which makes her more manoeuvrable and agile in difficult seas. She can be launched and recovered from the beach using specially designed equipment. As with other all-weather lifeboats she will be self-righting in the event of capsize and will be able to cope with the roughest of conditions. She also incorporates the very latest computer technology – which improves safety for our volunteer crews: they volunteer risk their own safety to ensure that of others. The least we can do is equip them with the best possible equipment and training.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland