Volunteers needed at Wells RNLI: spotlight on visits volunteer Peter Emerson
Wells RNLI Lifeboat Station operates successfully thanks to the support of dedicated volunteers – we are highlighting the stories of those who already give their time to encourage others to volunteer.
Retiree Peter Emerson, from Blakeney, is one of the knowledgeable and friendly Wells RNLI visits volunteers and is well placed for his role, being born in Wells and working for 14 years on the Holkham Estate, where his job included patrolling the beach.
Wells RNLI is so busy, in part, due to having a new station, that recently celebrated it’s first anniversary.
Hundreds of visitors flock to the station, many wishing to find their loved ones names on the new all-weather lifeboat (ALB), Duke of Edinburgh.
Peter said: ‘I have always enjoyed talking to people, especially about Wells and it’s rich history.
‘I was often asked by visitors to the beach if they could view the old lifeboat, boathouse, and whether they could buy anything.
‘Now there is a new boathouse, boat and shop, I wanted to be a part of it and volunteer, especially now I am retired and have the time.’
Peter recalls his job meant he walked miles on the sand all day, sometimes litter picking, talking to visitors and liaising with the Coastguard. Through his job, he became good friends with the coastguards and the Wells RNLI coxswain at the time, Allen Frary.
Peter’s second cousin, Martin Emmerson is now the deputy second coxswain and mechanic – so connections to the work of the RNLI feature throughout his life.
Peter is a font of local knowledge, recalling the many hours he spent as a youngster on the beach in the family’s beach hut, and then later working for Holkham as a beach warden.
He remembers when Wells RNLI welcomed it’s new lifeboat, the Oakley class Ernest Tom Nethercoat, in 1965. He was excited as the school closed for the afternoon for the naming ceremony and Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, came to officially name the lifeboat! He and his fellow classmates went and watched the ceremony.
He also remembers the station receiving the next lifeboat in 1990, Doris M Mann of Ampthill, a Mersey class lifeboat, which replaced the retiring Oakley class lifeboat.
More recently on 3 June 2023, the station had the official naming ceremony and handover of the new Shannon class ALB, the Duke of Edinburgh. Peter was proud to have been present at that ceremony too, making this the third new lifeboat to the station he had witnessed.
The Wells RNLI station is looking to recruit more volunteers in all areas, namely the visits team, the shop team, the fundraising guild, and shore and boat crew too.
No experience is needed as full training would be given, If you could spare just a few hours a month and want to be a part of such a worthwhile organisation, we would love to hear from you. Please get in contact via email on
[email protected] or call 01328 710230.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Adele Meakin, RNLI volunteer Deputy Press Officer on 07989 901733 or [email protected] or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.
For more information, please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the RNLI News Centre.
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, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends entirely 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.
Notes to the editor
Volunteers are the lifeblood of our charity and 97% of our frontline lifesavers are volunteers.
Our vision is to save every one. To find out more about the RNLI and make a donation, please visit RNLI.org/donate. Every penny counts.
The Wells RNLI is located at Beach Road, Wells-next-the-sea, Norfolk, NR23 1DR. There is a well stocked shop in the boat house, usually open Fridays to Mondays, 10am-4pm, staffed entirely by volunteers. Some changes to these days are likely, due to staff shortages.
The current lifeboats at the station are a Shannon class All Weather lifeboat No 13-46, Duke of Edinburgh, new to the station in 2023 and a D-class Inshore lifeboat No. D-797 Peter Wilcox, in service since 2016.
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 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.
Learn more about the RNLI
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries