Animal Friends Insurance Fund Severn Lifeboat Charity to Rescue Stranded Dolphins

Animal Friends Insurance, the UK pet insurer that dedicates its net profits to funding animal welfare projects worldwide, has funded a 20 strong team out of 120 crew members of the charity SARA (Severn Area Rescue Association) to be trained on a “mammal medic” course to rescue dolphins and other marine mammals stranded in the Severn Estuary in South West England. SARA is more used to rescuing people than wildlife but there is an increasing demand for cetacean rescue in particular in the Severn River area.

SARA approached Animal Friends Insurance to fund the specialist training of their crews by UK leading marine animal rescue organization The British Divers Marine Life Rescue. SARA’s David Thompson, Executive Fundraising Officer said:

“There is an increasing risk of our being called to assist with beached or injured mammals in the Severn Estuary. Perhaps this is due to climate change. Until now we have not had anyone trained to deal with handling these creatures so Animal Friends’ funding the training of our crews to get the specialist training needed has been a huge help and will undoubtedly save the lives of many marine mammals over the coming years.”

The training days have seen SARA’s crews being given in depth instruction on how to manage marine mammal casualties of various kinds, from pilot whales and the Common Dolphin to otters. Care of the mammals on land to prevent distress and dehydration and then using specialist refloating equipment to successfully return the disorientated mammals to the sea. Techniques drawn from across the world have been used to ensure the best chance of survival for these wonderful and often critically endangered mammals

Elaine Fairfax, Founder and MD of Animal Friends Insurance said: “It has been a real pleasure to help SARA’s important work. I am delighted that our pet insurance has helped to fund such an important initiative. People would perhaps be surprised to know just how many whales and dolphins are regularly seen around our coasts, especially in the south west, so it is increasingly important that professional marine rescue organizations such as SARA are given all the training and equipment they need to help such creatures in distress. I am looking forward to hearing stories of successful rescues in the coming months and years.

About Animal Friends Insurance: Animal Friends Insurance is a non-profit making insurance business, which donates 100% of its net profits to animal welfare charities worldwide. The company was founded in 1998 and offers competitively priced dog and cat insurance products. In 2005 Animal Friends Insurance’s managing director, Elaine Fairfax, won the NatWest everywoman Award for achieving the most outstanding success in business.

Animal Friends Insurance Services Limited, a company registered in England and Wales No. 3630812. Animal Friends is regulated by the Financial Services Authority, FSA Registration Number: 307858. This can be checked by visiting the FSA website at or by contacting the FSA on 0845 606 1234. Animal Friends and its Logos are protected by Trademark.

For more information call 0844 557 1255 or visit

SARA: The Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA), founded in 1973, is an Inshore Rescue boat and Land Search organisation covering the Severn Estuary and upper reaches of the River Severn. SARA is the largest independent lifeboat service in the UK, second only to the RNLI, with 8 operational boats and approximately 120 crew members.
SARA is a registered charity based in Chepstow, Monmouthshire under Charity No. 505504
For more information contact 0870 060 2001 or visit

Contact Details
Chris Fairfax
Managing Director
Animal Friends Insurance
Minton House
London Road
0844 557 1255