New Lifeboat on the Severn Launched

Posted in Beachley, News on October 18th, 2015 by Be the first to comment

We have recently taken delivery of a new inshore lifeboat for duties on the Severn Estuary from Cardiff to Gloucester and the rivers Wye, Avon and Usk.

SARA Lifeboat 1 " Jim Hewitt"

SARA Lifeboat 1 ” Jim Hewitt”

Now the largest of SARA’s twenty rescue boats the “Jim Hewitt” (call-sign “SARA-1”) cost over £200,000 was brought into service on 17th October at a ceremony attended by sponsors and dignitaries representing the towns & counties bordering the Severn Estuary.
SARA’s Area Commander, Mervyn Fleming from Newport said, “This is a long awaited event, our old inshore lifeboat has served this coast for seventeen years and has now been retired to the status of “Training Vessel”. Why the “Jim Hewitt”? … It is the name of the primary founder of The Severn Area Rescue Association over forty years ago.

Jim Hewitt and Mark Harper Naming the new boat

Jim Hewitt and Mark Harper Naming the new boat

The lifeboat has been largely funded through a £220,000 grant through the UK Government’s Department of Transport, provided through an ongoing scheme to use the millions of pounds in fines levied as a result of the Libor inter-bank interest rate scandal to support a range of good causes.

The new lifeboat, built to SARA’s own design incorporates the new International Lifeboat specifications, has a central communications console and simply bristles with rescue and safety features: all protected by a Kevlar™ reinforced glass-fibre hull.
“SARA Lifeboats are tasked to some of the most dangerous waters imaginable with one of the highest tidal ranges in the World.” Mr Fleming said, “This new vessel is equipped with the latest navigation and direction finding equipment to enable her to safely function in the foggy conditions which frequently occur on the estuary.”

The boat’s Manufacturer “Delta Power Group” of Cheshire report that this is the most technically compact and highly specified design they have been tasked to construct and are very pleased with the result.

The Crew at the Chepstow Lifeboat station are also very pleased with the result… powered by twin 150 HP Mariner outboards the “Jim Hewitt” is capable of speeds up to 45 Knots and is very responsive. With a crew of four and able to carry an additional four passengers or two stretcher casualties, she will give excellent service to the dangerous waters of the region into the foreseeable future.
SARA Lifeboat 1 " Jim Hewitt"

Launch of New Lifeboat “SARA-1″

Posted in Beachley, News on October 16th, 2015 by Be the first to comment

We are proud to announce that on Saturday 17th October we will be naming and launching our new Lifeboat.
The cost of the new Lifeboat has been met with a grant from the UK Department of Transport: the first of its kind to be awarded to a Lifeboat Association.
The ceremony will be at our Beachley station and will commence at 10am
10:00 – Arrival and viewing of station
10:30 – Commissioning Ceremony conducted by Mervyn Fleming (SARA Area Commander) & Revd. David Traherne (Parish of Tutshill, Sedbury & Beachley)
10:45 – Launch by Rt Hon Mark Harper MP (Chief Whip & Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)
11:00 – Sea Agility demonstrations of the new vessel

More details of the Naming and launch will be published after the ceremony.

Devauden Running a Profit for the Village and SARA

Posted in Beachley, Donation, News on July 29th, 2015 by Be the first to comment

The 4th Devauden Races, held of May Day this year, raised just over a £2,000 for SARA, Severn Area Rescue Association, and the Hood Memorial Hall in the village.

SARA commander Mervyn Fleming accepted their 50% share from Race organiser John Brooks and committee member Sarah Trim. Watching on are her husband Matt and children Floelyn, 6, and Brereton, 4. Matt is wearing the race T-shirt awarded to those who completed the 10k course in under an hour while the children have their race medals given to all children that competed. Well over 300 children and adults took part.

4th Devauden Races

4th Devauden Races

The Hood Memorial Hall committee plan to use their share of the money towards a new rustic play area for 2-7 year olds, plans for which are currently before Monmouthshire County Council.

Nathan James Estate Agents sponsored the T-shirts and CLS Performance, the children’s medals and prizes. The main sponsor was again Western Power Distribution.

This year neither the male nor female course records were broken so remain 36.05, set by Fairwater runner Mark Jennings, and 39.54 for the female record set by Chepstow Harrier Katherine Matthew. The prize money donated by Spectrum Internet was therefore unclaimed and went into the charity pot.

You can get a flavour of this year’s successful event by viewing a short video on

Next year’s race will be held on Monday May 2nd

New boat ordered

Posted in Beachley, News on June 16th, 2015 by Be the first to comment

SARA Beachley has engaged Delta Power Group of Cheshire to construct an 8 mtr rescue craft for operational duties on the Severn Estuary.

Picture below: Mr Mark Carwardine, SARA’s Executive Vice Chairman signs the build contract with Mr  Gordon Gillespie of Delta Power Group.

Signing Contract with DeltaThe craft will be a custom built R.I.B. (Rigid-hulled Inflatable Boat) designed to meet the environmental situations faced by SARA’s lifeboat crews on some of the most dangerous waters in the UK.

Merv. Fleming, SARA’s western division area commander and chairman of Beachley lifeboat rescue station said, “We are very excited about the building of this vessel. Once again we have challenged Delta to design and build a Lifeboat specific to our requirements. They came up trumps in 2012 with SARA-3 and we are aiming for a unique vessel which will still be ‘state-of-the-art’ in ten years time.
The tidal currents in the estuary are fierce – with one of the highest rise and falls of tide in the world. Safety for our crews is paramount as is the need to get to vessels in distress with the utmost speed.”
It is anticipated that the new craft will be going through “working-up” trials before the end of July.
The cost of the development, production, power-plant, instrumentation and kitting out of the craft is being met with a grant from the UK Department of Transport: the first of its kind to be awarded to a Lifeboat Association.

Handing Cheque to Delta


Mr Ryan Hewitt, SARA Beachley’s  Boat Manager and Coxswain presents a cheque for the deposit on the new vessel.




Donation of Phone System

Posted in Beachley, Donation on May 31st, 2015 by Be the first to comment

SARA are very pleased to announce that they have received a donation of a telephone exchange system (PBAX) for its Beachley station.
The phone system has been donated, fitted and is being maintained by Indigo Telecom Group based in Caldicot.

The system will allow SARA’s crew to contact the control room and vice versa from anywhere in the station, this will save time when passing important messages. Until this system was installed the crew had to walk around the building to pass the messages.

In an emergency situation every minute counts and being able to pass a message quickly can save time and lives.
The exchange phone system allows two phone calls in to the station at the same time, this enables them to be able to speak to other emergency services while also contacting the crew and pass vital information quickly.

Haydn Lyall, Communications Officer for Beachley station said “This phone system is a big help and will improve our responses to emergencies. Thank you to Indigo Telecom Group for donating the equipment and the staff to fit the system as well as maintaining it. This was a part of our control room and station that has been missing. The ability to transfer calls internally around the station and still be able to use the second line is a big help to us. Thank you to Indigo Telecom Group and their engineers for their support”

SARA are funded by donations from Business’s and the public, Without donations and support like this SARA would have to raise a lot more money each year and would not have the technology and luxury items such as this phone system.

Indigo Telecom Logo