The CAVRA team on exercise in Cardiff bay with their rescue rib and their jetski

The CAVRA team on exercise in Cardiff Bay with their rescue RIB (paid for by the Welsh Government) and their jetski. Their boat looks superficially like an RNLI lifeboat – but its crew is not trained to anything like the same standard.

The self-styled “Civil Aid Voluntary Rescue Association”  (CAVRA) a registered charity which  claims it is a “back up” to the “official Emergency Services” has been had its request  for cash from the Vale of Glamorgan Council rebuffed.

The Vale Council  had been handing over council-tax payers’ money to the tune of £250 a year to CAVRA  – but this year the Sully-based organisation had asked for its annual grant to be doubled to £500.

Earlier CAVRA  had complained to Cardiff Harbour Authority about not being called out to emergencies in Cardiff Bay – but Assistant Harbourmaster Tim Gifford said the Harbour Authority’s emergency procedures did “not include reference to CAVRA”.

Now, not only has the organisation had funding refused by the Vale of Glamorgan, but CAVRA has been firmly reminded by the  Vale of Glamorgan that it  is “not part of council official emergency planning protocol”.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has cut back grants to charities and community organisations from £9,400 in 2014/15 to £1,830 for 2015/16 . Some observers say such cuts are long overdue and that no council tax-payers’ money whatsover  should be handed over to charities – because that’s not what council tax is for.






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  1. James says:

    Organisations get turned down for grants all the time not just us.

  2. AK says:

    We pay for the Fire and Rescue Service boats, the police boats and the Harbour Authority boats all in the Bay. I’m unsure if the Coastguard Service also has boats (although we pay for the CG service).

    We are fortunate also to have an RNLI station – funded entirely by charity and crewed entirely by volunteers.

    Is there any need to fund another rescue organisation with no real role ?

    I’d say no.

  3. James says:

    AK CAVRA are a declared coastguard facility which is why they are in the bay and were funded by government money to establish themselves in the bay.

    • AK says:


      Why then does the Cardiff Harbour Authority not recognise them in their emergency protocols?

      • Rich says:

        Because its the Coastguard’s job to call out assets, not the Harbour Authorities?

        When you call in an emergency, you never talk to the RNLI, you talk to the Coastguard who call’s out the RNLI. I’ve always wondered why CAVRA complain about the harbour authority not calling them out when it’s not their job to anyway? That’s what the “declared coastguard failcility” bit is all about.

  4. John Lees says:

    Who and what do cavra do?

  5. Dave says:

    If the council have cut their funding what other charities and organisations have had theirs cut?

  6. Vicci Davies says:

    What a disappointing review of a volunteer service who have been throughly commited since 2000.
    I wonder why Cardiff bay harbour master could be so threatened by another volunteer agency? Or what his biased relationship is with the RNLI??
    All training provided is supported by the relevant agencies including CARDIFF HARBOUR AUTHORITY!!!! and the ongoing training courses will be defra rescue boat operator standards.

  7. Colin says:

    Personalised number plates all round then, at £280 a pot!!!! (CA57VRA).

    • Vicci says:

      FACT: the number plate did not cost a penny. It came on the vehicle at the time of purchase …..

    • Dave says:

      Colin, quick check on the VOSA website says its a 2007 Landrover, not a 2000 registered vehicle.

      CA being a Welsh prefix, new registrations being two letters (area designation) two numbers (year) three letters (random).

      • Colin says:

        But when it was purchased in 2007, they were lucky enough to get a reg. that matched their name. ? If purchased in 2000, (W reg), when the organisation was set up. Was the vehicle bought new or because of the number plate?

      • Dave says:


        When purchasing a new vehicle you can request a registration plate, amd as long as it meets the requirements and hasn’t already been issued then it is is yours.

  8. Mark cann says:

    We are always being informed how stretched services are in the uk and with severe weather conditions on land I’m surprised we look to knock voluntary services? From reading the comments seems to be something personal going on which isn’t fair to the organisation! Comments on number plate? They want to help save lives from what I understand.

    • Colin says:

      But Vicky says, Quote….FACT: the number plate did not cost a penny. It came on the vehicle at the time of purchase …..So, This implies that the plate was on the vehicle when bought. Was the vehicle new at time of purchase or second hand?

      • Dave says:


        I suspect the vehicle was brought new to replace an aging bit of kit that was no longer required.

        And unfortunatly being a charity, along with St John Ambulance and RNLI are restricted to buying new kit not second hand.

        If you wish to continue this please feel free to email me directly.

  9. Colin says:

    Just curious as to the origin of the said plate.

    • James says:

      You’ve already been told as to the origin of the plate.

      When you purchase a new vehicle you can request a registration as long as it has not been registered before.

  10. Colin says:

    How many call outs a week?

    • James says:

      Callouts are not measured per week they are measured per year.

      Its not about how busy a service is but the willingness of its volunteers to be ready at any time for any eventually.

      For example last year Mountain Rescue had about 60 and Cave Rescue only had 5 (approx public figures) but both services received equal opportunities and funding.

      It is clear from your comments that you are only here to have a dig at a service that you know very little about.

      • Colin says:

        No. You’re wrong James. I’m am entitled to ask questions about the charity and any other. I did have a look at the website, the calender page is blank? So yes, I know little about their commitments for this year etc. My 4 figure donation has gone to 2 other charities in the area. How many call outs for 2015 ?

      • James says:

        That I cannot answer as I am not a member of the charity.

  11. richard wright says:

    Exactly where are these public figures quoted?

  12. Timmy says:


    Have you accepted the offer of contacting the person who gave you their email address?

    • Emma says:

      No he hasn’t .

      • Colin says:

        Timmy, why should I contact them? I have been told it came on the car. Emma, I already have a P.A., thanks, you are NOT my mouthpiece !
        How many call outs this year (2016) ? Why are we being given other outlets and email accounts to look at these stats? Why the mystery?

  13. richard wright says:

    What a patronising and silly reply. I ask again, where are the detailed rescue statistics for CAVRA – or are you claiming for rescues carried out by other teams/charities?

    • James says:

      I pasted the Google link as I’m can’t answer the question lol I’m not a member of the charity you are interrogating.

      • Colin says:

        James, no one is “interrogating” anyone ! You quoted on the 20th January the following…”AK CAVRA are a declared coastguard facility which is why they are in the bay and were funded by government money to establish themselves in the bay”. You seemed to be in the know, but it looks from the last answer you are not. As CAVRA are a declared coastguard facility, why were they not used to get the strandees of Sully island last week? Would have saved other resources being deployed to get them (helicopter etc), as they were looking for a misper of Penarth.

      • Timmy says:


        Have you contacted the organisation, or person who left their email address, directly?

  14. Colin says:

    Timmy, has anyone answered the call out question? Out in the open, not these non-UK email addresses/ malaware sites.

Comments are closed.