They save the lives of dozens of people each year. They are called in to rescue many who are in difficulties on the Severn and many other rivers and tributaries.

They work on conjunction with other emergency services.

Their skills and commitment are highly regarded.

They are SARA - the Severn Area Rescue Association.

But they have been refused Lottery grant funding because they do not help enough ethnic minorities.

The charity, which costs more than £80,000 each year to run, is naturally furious.

They see this a political correctness gone mad.

The Evening News agrees.

It's not as if SARA is a parochial organisation.

In the past year alone, they have turned out to "shouts" from Cleobury Mortimer, Hay-on-Wye and River Ebbw, Newport as well as attanding a host of incidents on their Severn beat.

It is a sad day when the funding of what is a vital rescue service depends on some strange PC rule or regulation.

According to the Lottery, its priorities include funding projects that are directly of benefit to the elderly, disabled, young people, children and ethnic minorities.

So if you are a standard Worcestershire working resident, then you don't get saved!

Come on Lottery, use some common sense.

Why not give grants to organisations that are genuinely giving a community service to all - whoever and whatever they are? Seems sensible to us.