The inaugural meeting to form the organisation which became SARA was held in 1973. The organisation started to take shape, with its then headquarters at Tutshill, which is near the current Beachley station.
In 1976 SARA became a registered charity as ‘Severn Auxiliary Rescue Association’, as an Auxiliary to HM Coastguard.
SARA purchased its first boat in 1977, having previous used the Chepstow and District Yacht Club Safety boat moored at St Pierre Pill near Sudbrook and the Lydney Yacht club safety boat, as well as the boat of one of its members.
In 1985 SARA became an official Mountain Rescue Post in the role of cliff rescue for the Wye Valley. The organisation became a member of the ‘Mountain Rescue Council’, which later became ‘Mountain Rescue England & Wales’
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.
Also in 1986 the charity was renamed as ’The Severn Area Rescue Association’, entirely independent of HM Coastguard.
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.
Severn Area Rescue
The Lifeboat Station,
Monmouthshire, NP16 7HH
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