SARA was founded in 1973, with its then headquarters at Tutshill, which is near the current Beachley station. In 1976 SARA became a registered charity and purchased its first boat in 1977.
In 1985 SARA became an official Mountain Rescue Post in the role of Cliff rescue for the Wye valley. A year later in 1986 a second station was opened at Sharpness. This was primarily in response to a tragic loss of life in the Sharpness area.
In June 2005 a new station was opened at Upper Arley in the Wyre Forest. SARA Wyre Forest operates in the largest geographical area of the four stations covering Shropshire, Worcestershire and parts of Herefordshire and the West Midlands county.
Following the 2007 floods, SARA decided to form a new station in Tewkesbury. The Tewkesbury station is SARA’s fourth station and provides both Water and Land based Search and Rescue services. The station opened in October 2009 following the donation of a unit for 2 years from local company Basepoint, and then formed the UK’s first joint Water Rescue Centre with Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service.