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Drowning And Incident Review

What is DIR?

Water Safety Scotland (WSS) via RoSPA and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) developed the Drowning and Incident Review (DIR) process for accidental water-related fatalities in Scotland.

DIR aims to gather data and understand the contributory factors of a water-related incident to help gain a better understanding of how to prevent similar incidents occurring in future. It follows the release of Preventing Future Fatalities in 2020 which brought together information on the current legal landscape and explores potential solutions to help prevent accidental water fatalities in Scotland.

lifebuoy / lifering in arbroath
Lifebuoy / Lifering in Arbroath

DIR has tangible benefits locally and nationally:


  • Partners gain insight into risks in their area
  • The people best placed to address these risks are involved in the process and updated
  • Local knowledge is employed to improve water safety in the area


  • Previously unavailable information will be gathered for analysis
  • National strategy will be better informed due to this enhanced data capture


Why do we need DIR?

Every year, on average, there are around 20 drowning fatalities where we have limited information e.g. no known outcome. Due to the legal structure in Scotland not all fatalities have Fatal Accident Inquiries so there could be vital information missing that could potentially prevent future fatalities.

What does DIR cover?

DIR can be used for fatal incidents located both inland and in coastal waters, and for near-miss incidents where these are either attended by emergency services or are reported.

DIR does not cover: Boating and commercial incidents, deaths by suicide, deaths in employment, or deaths where crime is suspected.

Access to DIR training

DIR training is kindly hosted by our partners from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

You will need to register before being able to complete the training. The registration link and the Log in link are below.

Registration link

Log in link

A registration and log in guide can be accessed here.



DIR Guidance Document & Scene and Outcome form

Download Link:

SOR Form

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