For over a hundred years Wells lifeboat station has withstood the ravages of the sea, sited as it is on the beach at Wells-Next-the-Sea. But last night, it couldn’t quite withstand the ravages of the huge tide which struck the North-Norfolk coastline.
The crew were standing by at the station to cover any emergency when huge waves swept through the boathouse reaching an estimated height of ten feet at the highest point of the tide.
The weight of the water smashed the door of the inshore lifeboat shed and surged through the main boathouse where the all-weather lifeboat is housed. At one stage it rocked the lifeboat which was strapped to its launching carriage.
Then when the tide receded it left behind in the boathouse around twenty tons of shingle and gravel.
Lifeboat Operations Manager, Chris Hardy, said, “I’ve never seen anything like it. We had to open the doors at both ends of the main boathouse to let the sea surge through. Otherwise it would have taken these doors out too.”
As it was, one corner of the boathouse has its outer cladding ripped off and interior wooden panelling was damaged. Memory boards of historic launches had to be removed hurriedly from the walls to prevent them from being damaged by the sea.
The crew have been up most of the night mopping up after the damage.
A three year licence to carry out maintenance dredging at Wells Harbour in Norfolk has been granted. It follows months of delay as the Marine Management Organisation investigated the possible environmental impact.
The harbour master welcomed the news as beneficial to the local economy, saying it guarantees safe access to the harbour for wind farm traffic, fishing and other vessels.
Firefighters were called to three yachts on fire at Wells on the North Norfolk Coast this morning.The yachts and a boat were all involved in the blaze but no-one was hurt. Coastguard officers said they believed all the yachts were on the quayside being worked on rather than in the water.
Nearby yachts were evacuated as more than 30 firefighters brought the flames under control.
It's Friday and one in five takeaways bought tonight will come from the chippy. It's a great British tradition particularly at one fish and chip shop in East Anglia which has been celebrating its 90th birthday.
ITV News Anglia's Natalie Gray was lucky enough to pop along just as the fish was coming out of the fryers and you can watch her report by clicking below: