SARA 1 “Jim Hewitt”

Delta 8mtr Rigid Inflatable (RIB) 

Stationed at Beachley
Crew 4
Engines 2 x  150hp outboard motors (fitted with post immersion restart to survive capsize)
Fuel Twin independent under deck fuel tanks
Comms 2 x ICOM Marine VHF Radios, AIS Transciever, Electronic direction finding equipment,
Navigation GPS chart plotters,Compasses
Max Speed Approx 43 Knots
Search Duration Approx 5 hours
Cost £200,000 (2015)

Lifeboat SARA 1 is the largest and most technically equipped vessel within the Severn Area Rescue Association fleet and is housed at the Beachley lifeboat station under the old Severn bridge.

Based on a Delta eight meter hull that has been proven commercially world wide and
equipped to the specification developed by the crew from SARA Beachley, this craft is set to meet the challenges they face within their local environment and to satisfy the requirements of the recently introduced rescue boat code of practice.

SARA’s  crews experience working within the marine rescue environment of the upper reaches of the Bristol Channel and Severn estuary enabled the conception of a bespoke and unique vessel that should serve the communities that border these treacherous waters for many years to come.

Severn Rescue are hugely privileged to have taken delivery of such a vessel something that would not have been possible without the ongoing support of the local community, followers and  a significant grant from the department of transport, this level of investment has allowed a no compromise piece of hardware to be placed where it can  save lives upon the Severn and its tributaries.

Lifeboat SARA 1 was officially named Jim Hewitt in recognition of one of the organisations founding members and was presented to the community on the 17 October 2015.

Throughout its design stages the crew working with Delta were keen to implement systems that eliminated any single point of failure within critical systems and included technologies that enhance the safety of the vessel and cater for inclusion of systems to help Mariners in distress.

The vessel is crewed by 3 or 4 crew depending upon tasking and is Powered by two 150hp optimax outboard motors, the craft is capable of achieving approximately 43 knots under calm conditions and able to plane on one engine in the event of system failure.

Sufficient fuel is carried to allow approximately four hours duration at a nominal cruising speed or under search conditions and the inclusion of a ballast system allows improved stability and boat handling in rough conditions.

Due to the often challenging environment that is encountered within the estuary many improved electronic navigational aids help ensure the safety of the boat and crew especially in situations of reduced visibility.

The electronics carried on-board also allow for advances in technologies, reductions in price and availability place electronic safety measures such as EPIRBS, PLBs  and SARTS within the reach of many not just commercial operators and being able to detect these items can be key to a successful rescue.

The vessel can accommodate up to 6 survivors in addition to its crew, the placement of a stretcher can also  be achieved utilising the aft seat and  the improved layout provides enhanced casualty care.