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 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 coroner 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 holds an ongoing plan to mitigate these 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.

How do I provide information?

If you hold insight into a one-off event and wish to share this then please use the contact us form, without detailing the event, providing your name and contact information.

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 liason officer.

We have assigned lead administrators for coroners officers please contact us or call.

If you do not fall within these groups or are unsure, please contact us to discuss.

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.