October 8th 2022 was a very important and historic day for the community of Wells~next~the~Sea and the RNLI. The town gathered in numbers exceeding 2000 people standing 4 deep on the quayside to get a glimpse of their new lifeboat, The Duke Of Edinburgh. She is a Shannon Class who will be replacing The Doris M. Mann of Ampthill, a Mersey Class who is retiring after 32 years of service. Doris is in fact, the longest serving lifeboat in the fleet.
The Duke of Edinburgh 13 46 was met at the Wells Fairway buoy at exactly 13:46 hrs. She was later escorted into Wells quayside with four Wells lifeboats. Lead was Lucy Lavers, a Liverpool Class built in 1939, who served as relief boat in Wells in 1962 and from 1963 to 1964 and was also a little rescue ship from Dunkirk. Lucy was followed by Ernest Tom Nethercot, one of very few remaining Oakley Class who replaced Lucy in Wells when she retired in 1965. Behind Ernest Tom was our current lifeboat Doris M. Mann of Ampthill. All escorted as well by our LB1 D~Class Inshore Lifeboat D-797 Peter Wilcox.