Hereford & Worcester

Rescue charity Sara seeks donations after Wyre Forest theft

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Media captionSARA volunteers helped to rescue people during floods earlier this year

A search and rescue charity is trying to raise thousands of pounds to replace stolen and vandalised equipment.

Thieves targeted the Severn Area Rescue Association (Sara) station in Wyre Forest, near Kidderminster, on Monday, smashing car windows and stealing tools, fuel and a lifeboat.

Chairman Paul Watkins said volunteers were "heartbroken" over the raid.

The group helped to evacuate people from their homes during flooding earlier this year.

A fundraising appeal has been set up to try and raise at least £2,500 to replace the equipment, some of which could not be insured.

Image caption Sara chairman Paul Watkins said the team was in London on the day of the raid

"The initial temper has now died down and it's fair to say that my team is absolutely heartbroken and distraught, after all the hard work that we've done and the plaudits we've got, support from the communities," Mr Watkins said.

Mr Watkins said the group had been at 10 Downing Street on Monday meeting Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss Sara's work during the floods.

Members of the charity returned to find two Land Rover vehicles had been "quite severely" vandalised, and equipment taken, he said.

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