SARA is a multi-disciplinary volunteer search and rescue organisation, and is the designated rescue service for an area of over 20,000 km2 on and around the Severn, being called primarily via HM Coastguard and the Police, also by Fire and Rescue or Ambulance Services. It provides:
• Inshore Lifeboat cover for large parts of the Rivers Severn, Wye, Usk and the Bristol Avon*
• Cliff rescue, particularly for the lower Wye Valley climbing areas including Symonds Yat
• Mud rescue
• Swift water and flood rescue
• Land Search
SARA currently operates from five bases, at Newport, Chepstow (Beachley), Sharpness, Tewkesbury and Kidderminster (Wyre Forest). Typical incidents involve boats or persons in difficulty on one of the rivers SARA cover, but also searches for missing persons, animal rescue and flood relief are also becoming common.
SARA is a member of Mountain Rescue England & Wales. SARA is also a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and a Rescue3Europe teaching centre, with its own instructors able to train and certify crew members.
The membership of the organisation is made up entirely from volunteers, with no paid staff. As a registered charity, all funding is raised by way of donations, grants and other fundraisining.