KEEPING a constant watchful eye on the Severn Estuary and surrounding area is a big task for SARA, the Severn Area Rescue Association.

Run solely by volunteers, SARA is tasked by HM Coastguard, Fire and Rescue and Ambulance services to provide search and rescue services across its operational area 24-7, 365 days a year.

SARA is the largest independent lifeboat service in the UK, second only to the RNLI, with nine operational boats, nine mobile response units, four stations and approximately 150 personnel. The headquarters is based on the Welsh side of the former Aust ferry jetty which would cross the estuary before the original Severn bridge was constructed.

When it came to keeping the operation afloat the office machinery left a lot to be desired. An ageing photocopier was missing parts and breaking down on a regular basis but replacing it with a new model was financially prohibitive. SARA contacted Newport-based AR Digital for assistance initially to help find new parts.

Given the parlous state of the old machine, AR Digital went one step further and donated a colour photocopier to enable the volunteers to concentrate instead on the task of being on call to help save lives.    

The company, led by father and son Rick and Alex Porazinski installed a full sized A3 colour photocopier to help with SARA’s requirements which range from the urgent need to print river and land maps at short notice to copying posters and flyers for fund raising activities.

Rick Porazinski, AR Digital Ltd, said: “We are very pleased to have been able to help SARA in the best way we know how. Having an office which functions when you need it most is crucial. When every moment counts worrying about whether the photocopier or printer is going to break down isn’t helpful to anybody.

“The equipment installed also offers significant running and energy costs reductions. We hope the new machine helps to at least ease the stress for the wonderful volunteers who give of their own time to keep a vigilant eye on our waterways and keep us all safe.”

Haydn Lyall, on behalf of SARA, added: “We never know what is around the corner. The work is unpredictable at best, but having office machinery that is also unpredictable just adds to the workload in what is often a very tense situation if someone is in distress on the estuary.

“We are very grateful to AR Digital for their kind donation which has enabled us to get on with the job we love.”

Anybody wishing to support the work of SARA can do so at or visit their Facebook page: