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 RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.