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Meet Will Richardson, Wells RNLI crew and joint owner of an historic Dutch barge

Lifeboats News Release

Meet Will Richardson, he is the second youngest crew member of the Wells RNLI volunteer crew, at age 27. He has been on the crew for two years now.

The D-Class lifeboat at sea with spray over the side of the lifeboat with 4 crew members

RNLI/Ray West

Will Richardson and crew members out at sea in the D-Class Lifeboat

Will owns and runs a friendly and cosy coffee shop, situated on the Quayside of Wells harbour, which has fabulous views across the quay. Will and his father Bob Richardson also own the historic and much-loved Dutch built Clipper boat, the Albatros, built in 1899, that has just returned to Wells harbour in July.

Will is an active guy, when not in his coffee shop, Wills of Wells, or working on the Albatros. You may find him out on the water, whether it be water sports, sailing, fishing or out with his camera. He is a very keen and talented photographer.

Will had always wanted to be a volunteer RNLI crew member and has been involved with boats from an early age. He has also spent a year in Greece, teaching sailing and has amassed over 15,000 hours of teaching.

Will said ‘I love being part of a great team at Wells RNLI, we are all volunteers and I get a buzz from rescuing people.’ The sea can be a dangerous place and it is very easy to get into difficulties.'

For Will, his most memorable callout is his first one with Wells RNLI’s new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat (ALB), Duke of Edinburgh. The lifeboat was new to the station in 2023. The crew have undergone extensive training on the new lifeboat and had the official naming and handing over ceremony on 3 June 2023.

On 13 August 2023 at 2.18am, the Shannon RNLI lifeboat launched for her second callout, to the aid of a sailing yacht with a lone sailor. The Skegness lifeboat had requested assistance. The Wells lifeboat met the Skegness lifeboat and stricken vessel approximately 11 miles north of Wells harbour. Will and another RNLI volunteer crew member boarded the stricken vessel and attached a tow rope to assist in bringing the yacht safely into the harbour. The vessel was safely moored up and Duke of Edinburgh returned to the boathouse at 5.24am.

Will is also very willing to talk to visitors to the new boathouse. To have a crew member present in their full RNLI kit is wonderful for visitors to see. A full kit costs approximately £3520 for each member of the crew. As the RNLI is an independent charity with no government funding, it relies solely on generous donations and bequests in Wills.

If you wish to donate to the RNLI, please visit our justgiving page – justgiving.com/fundraising/rnli-wells. The station’s RNLI volunteer crew members are on call 24-hours- a-day, every day of the year.

The Wells-next-the-Sea RNLI shop is usually open Fridays to Mondays 10am to 4pm, dependant on volunteers to run it. Hours can change, please call 01328 710230 to check. This week the charity launched its RNLI 200 range ahead of its 200th anniversary of saving lives at sea in March 2024. The range includes commemorative pins, key rings, hats, clothing and a cute teddy bear.

There is a viewing gallery, where visitors can view the Shannon class lifeboat Duke of Edinburgh and purchase gifts and souvenirs in the RNLI shop.

Notes to editors

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea, 24 hours a day, every day. We are an independent charity, with no government funding. We are funded by generous donations.

To find out more and make a donation, please visit RNLI.org/donate. Every penny counts.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of our charity, 97% of our frontline lifesavers are volunteers.

Our vision is to save every one.

The Wells RNLI lifeboats are a Shannon class all- weather lifeboat No.13-46, Duke of Edinburgh, new in 2023 and a D-class inshore lifeboat No. D-797 Peter Wilcox, in service from 2016.

RNLI Media contacts

For more information, please contact Adele Meakin, RNLI volunteer Deputy Press Officer at Wells: [email protected]

Wells RNLI boathouse with blue skies and some people walking by

RNLI/Ray West

Wells RNLI boathouse and shop

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

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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