MEMBERS of the Severn Area Rescue Association based at Beachley, near Chepstow, have received a welcome donation of new life jackets.

The jackets were donated by electricity business Western Power Distribution, and will provide a much-needed boost to the volunteers who depend upon donations of specialised equipment.

SARA is the largest independent boat service in the UK – second only to the RNLI – and its volunteers are called upon regularly to undertake search, rescue and recovery work in the Severn Estuary and beyond.

SARA’s Beachley base has two inshore lifeboats capable of patrolling down river as far as Avonmouth and up to Lydney plus parts of the Rivers Wye, Usk and Avon in Bristol, and an inland boat which can be launched anywhere and is used on smaller rivers.

SARA’s fundraiser and PR officer Richard Newhouse said: “Our equipment suffers much wear and tear and is in constant need of updating, so this donation is most welcome.

“It means that we can continue to provide our emergency service safely, for we are often working in dangerous conditions and it is important that our volunteers are kept safe.”

WPD’s Bradley Griffiths, who presented the new equipment said: “Safety is our number one priority and we are always keen to support organisations committed to helping and protecting the public.”

Further information on SARA and its activities can be found at