SARA in UK First for Water Rescue

Posted in News, Tewkesbury on October 12th, 2011 by Be the first to comment

On the 24th September 2011, SARA’s Tewkesbury Rescue Station began an exciting partnership with Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, in an unprecedented move for UK emergency-response agencies.

The move sees SARA’s volunteers combining resources and sharing premises with the firefighters to create a hub for water rescue in Tewkesbury and surrounding areas with the station being renamed ‘Gloucestershire Water Rescue Centre’. The partnership means improved coordination and interoperability between the two agencies. SARA has four rescue stations at strategic points along the River Severn, including Sharpness Lifeboat station which is also prolific in water rescue in the county.

SARA Tewkesbury currently has two inshore rescue boats alongside a boat haulage and land search vehicle. The new centre houses multiple Rescue Boat, Land Search and Swiftwater Rescue Teams providing a greater level of response to all water-related incidents as well as ensuring the area is better prepared for future large-scale floods.

“We are thrilled to be at the heart of this bold move by both our agencies. The benefit this will bring to the local community is huge, and the standard of service we can deliver is first class and unrivalled in the UK. We are looking forward to working ever closer with GFRS personnel and developing our relationship with them”.

Chris Crowley, Station Chairman and charity trustee


SARA & GFRS working together on Water Rescue

Photo Opportunity! Gloucestershire Water Rescue Centre will be officially opened by Gloucestershire County Council Leader, Cllr Mark Hawthorne at 11.30am on Saturday 15th October. Please come along to the centres open day and join in.

In The News:

Note to media: Usage of the above photos both online and in print, is permitted for publicising the launch of the centre and its open day.

Announcing Charity Gala Black Tie Dinner

Posted in Fundraising, News on July 25th, 2011 by Be the first to comment

SARA will be hosting a Black Tie Gala Dinner at Spring Grove House, Bewdley on Friday 23rd September. This event is kindly supported by Stratstone Lotus, Aston Martin and Jaguar.

Friday 23rd September 2011
Prestige Cars to View & Test, Charity Auction & Live Band.
£65 per person. Max 10 per table.

There will be a range of prestige cars to view & test,
4 course dinner, Charity Auction & Live Band.

17:30 – Selection of Prestige and Luxury automobiles from Stratstone Aston Martin, Lotus and Jaguar will be available for viewing. SARA Vehicles, Rescue Boats & Equipment will be on display.
18:30 – Drinks Reception accompanied by String Quartet.
18:45 – SARA Rescue Demonstration.
19:30 – Welcome by SARA Chairman followed by a 4-course Dinner.
21:30 – Grand Charity Auction in aid of SARA.
22:00 – Dancing in the Cellarz Bar to Live Band or relax at you table to a String Quartet.
Carriages at 01:00hrs

For further details, please contact Mark Lucas on 07973 235570 or by email

Announcing SARA Abseil 2011!

Posted in Fundraising, News on June 24th, 2011 by 1 Comment

SARA Abseil 2011The National Diving & Activity Centre is promoting an Abseil Charity Challenge for The Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA) on Sunday 25th September 2011 at the National Diving & Activity Centre, Chepstow. The Abseil will be run from the top of the quarry, down 200ft onto a floating pontoon below – an exciting abseil in a spectacular location! In addition participants will have the opportunity to qualify for
a thrilling trip aboard the fast inshore rescue boat SARA 1.

This event is being promoted by The National Diving & Activity Centre for the purpose of raising funds for SARA. As well as experiencing an exciting abseil in a spectacular location participants (collecting £120 or more in sponsorship) will be entered in a draw for a thrilling trip aboard one of SARA’s high speed rescue boats with the individual collecting the highest amount of sponsorship guaranteed a place. Entry and Sponsorship forms available.

If you would like to take part, please read the information sheet and then return the entry form by Friday 11th September 2011.

Don completes lifesaving cycle challenge

Posted in Fundraising, News, Sharpness on May 18th, 2011 by 1 Comment

Don King was attempting to ride his home made cycle, from Trafalgar Wharf, Greenwich, to SARA’s Sharpness Lifeboat Station, in an attempt to raise funds for a new Lifeboat. In an unbelievable effort, against all the odds, and also overcoming a serious breakdown of the cycle, Don accomplished this huge and fantastic task.

Don has provided us with a write up of his fundraising challenge, if you would like to show your support for Don’s ride, or would like to donate to the appeal, please click here.

0515hrs Good Friday Morning, an eerie mist accompanied daybreak over Trafalgar Wharf, Greenwhich, staring across the mighty Thames, the towers of Canary Wharf dissappeared into the misty sky, mist rising from the Thames waters added to the ghostly image, I was here. The great marathon was about to start. First the Cutty Sark, I have always wanted to see her, and here I was, today however, dissapointment, following severe damage, she was encased in scaffolding covered by sheets to protect her. Peering through slots accomodating padlocks to the compound gates, I caught a glimpse of her bare stern, stripped of planking for repair, still a beautiful sight.

Back to the SARA Lifeboat Land Rover and trailer which had brought me and my home made cycle here for my ambitious attempt to ride back to the SARA Sharpness Lifeboat Station, in an attempt to raise funds for the new Lifeboat to be stationed there. To my horror, my Scottish Flag had been lost on the journey up, looking further into the trailer, I saw a brake block which had fallen off, a’h dash, a special allen key, delving into my trusty tool bag, out came the key, the brake block soon back on and the other tightened I was ready.

The enormity of my task suddenly dawned upon me when Geoff who had driven up, said ‘Bye don, see you at Sharpness’ I jokingly replied ‘This is where we change places, you ride I drive’ only too see Geoff roaring off in the Land Rover with my words lost in the growl of the engine, perhaps my look was a little too serious!!.

On my cycle and off I went. Through London I encountered many ‘Boris’ bikers, what a good idea that is, seems to work really well. Even the car drivers were very considerate (Fiesta drivers included!). 0900 hrs spot a good looking cafe, breakfast of Tuna salad went down well. Weather now getting hot, so off with the trousers and top, tee shirt and shorts being the order of the day. Going well now, too good, entering Acton, surely my handlebars are lower! hullucinating King I tell myself, no the really are lower, hell!! then it happened, scraping along the ground the weld on the frame had broken and the frame had cracked in half, despair, what can I do? garage welder, lets go, three garages later and all I could hear was ‘Sorry Sir’ total despair!! With sinking heat and carrying a bike which was now in two pieces, I came upon a chap how offered to help carry to the next garage, and there elation, ‘Yes Sir, but it will cost’ So there I was, a couple of guys who spoke little english, arguing with a lady and her son about an un paid bill, but making a start on the welding, in between, selling a car and fixing another with wheel and brake problems. Eventually after losing around five hours, I was on my way again. Bound for Didcot, I arrived at 2000hrs and immediately found that I did not have my tent poles, a couple of bananas and wrapped up as best I could, I attempted to get some sleep. How I had forgotton just how hard good old mother earth is, aching hips, no energy, tired all my ‘Get up and go’ gone, the day seemed impossible. However 0900 hrs I was off again, a beautiful day, hurtling down hills at 36 mph, that weld!! hell brakes on, slow down, great progress to my second nights stop, a bed in Nailsworth.

0815hrs the next morning I set off from the Forest Green Rovers Football ground. I was shortly to be met by two Land Rovers from the SARA Sharpness Lifeboat Station manned with crew they were to escort me on the last leg of my journey, with one in front and one following, I felt good, so much so that I becam a little too comfortable hurtling down Uley Hill at 39.9 mph when realisation hit home, hell!! that weld is all that is between me and disaster, brake, brake, gently, gently, my speed dropped back to 25 mph, wow!!, hairy.

So on to Sharpness and the end of the journey, on arrival at Sharpness Lifeboat Station I was greeted by my wife Vanessa, and the crew at the station, amid the wailing of sirens and flashing blue lights on my escort vehicles, two crew members heralded the finishing line with orange flares.

A big hug from Vanessa, showered with champagne and cheers from all the crew, for a short while it drowned out the memories of pain, frustration, highes lows and all of the other sensations one has on such a journey.

My efforts were all centered around raising funds for the new Lifeboat planned for the SARA Sharpness Lifeboat Station.

The existing Lifeboat, the ‘Marian Shaw’ is due for replacement.

Due to the incoming ‘Rescue Boat Code of Practise’ the new Lifeboat will need to conform to very demanding criteria which all new Lifeboats will need to comply with. The requirements add dramatically to the build cost and the sum of £76000 will need to be raised to secure the Lifeboat.

My heartfelt thanks to all of my sponsors. Donations can be made at just giving:

For any further information on the new Lifeboat, or how to assist, please contact: Geoff Dawe on 07919521281 (geoff.sharpness (at)

If you would like to show your support for Don’s ride, or would like to donate to the appeal, please click here.

Swift and Bold launch is successful

Posted in Beachley, News on March 14th, 2011 by Be the first to comment

Mrs Suzi De la Billere naming the boat


The launch of the new SARA 3 ‘Swift and Bold’ was a great success, thanks to everyone who turned up to support the SARA Beachley crew. The boat was named by Mrs Suzi De la Billere, wife of the Commanding Officer of 1 Battalion the rifles.

The new SARA 3 is now operational, the old boat has been de-commisioned and is no longer operational at Beachley station.

SARA 3 out training on the River Severn 13/03/11

For all of those who missed the opportunity to have a look at the new boat and around the station don’t panic, the annex building will be completed and officially opened in June.