National Water Safety Forum



What is WAID?

The WAter Incident Database (WAID) is a service developed by the Forum to bring together water-related incident data from a wide range of sources within the UK search and rescue region.

Its key aims are to:

  • provide insights into levels of risk, enabling meaningful comparisons with activities outside the water sector, and the determination of risk acceptability;
  • supersede the uncoordinated efforts of organisations trying to establish national trends based on limited data of uncertain quality;
  • produce much higher quality evidence;
  • maximise value and minimise aggregate cost of data collection.

The published annual reports, interactive report and UK Drowning Prevention Strategy are based upon the WAID dataset.

How does WAID work?

WAID is an online system designed to accept data from a wide range of data sources, either through direct entry via the web, or bulk uploads.  The system builds upon a number of existing sources of data, such as coroners' reports and search and rescue reports.

How is WAID governed?

A number of steps are taken to assure the system and data. The WAID group considers risks to the system and dataset, and has an ongoing plan to mitigate these risks with the support of the Coordinating Group.  Contracts with data providers/users, system hosting and so on are held by RoSPA, on behalf of the Forum.  

Administrators and stakeholder users access the system under agreement, and are offered regular training that reflects the operational polices. The system is hosted under contract with a specialist company, which holds national certifications and works with the WAID group to identify and mitigate risks/threats. The system works to the RoSPA framework for data governance, which includes adherence to a privacy policy, data protection, impact assessments and identification of technical/system issues. This has been externally verified (October 2018) and is periodically tested.

Data collection is subject to both in-year and year-end checks. Administrators verify records several times a year, typically monthly, to ensure completeness and accuracy using a structured approach.

How can I access the reports' data?

The annual report tables are published. Datasets are available to members and data contributors under agreement, in a variety of formats and platforms.  Custom reports and/or dataset requests from others are considered on a case by case basis, subject to agreement.  The interactive report is provided to further explore parts of the WAID dataset.

How do I provide information?

If you know about a one-off event and wish to share this with us then please contact us.

If you are a member of UK search and rescue (via the MCA), or the National Fire Chiefs Council water safety group, then you can report via your data lead and/or national liaison officer.

If you are from coroners' office, we have assigned lead administrators to deal with this information.  Please email us at or call 0121 248 2000.

If you are not a member of the any of the groups mentioned above and would like to get in touch, please use our contact form.

How can I find out more or sign-up to become a user?

A key benefit of becoming a WAID user is the multi-agency approach inherent with the system. Many incidents involve several duty holders or rescue bodies. WAID users can track and respond in a coordinated manner. This is often critical to effectively managing an issue.

There are a number of policies and preconditions that every WAID user agrees to, including our data use and privacy policy and possible contributions to support the system.

If you require information on how to become a contributor, please contact us at


What is next for WAID?

Funding has been provided by Trinity House to build a new, improved reporting system WAID2.  It is currently in project stage and further updates will be communicated in due course.  If you wish to be kept updated, contact us at