The Drowning Prevention Research Centre is the lead agency for drowning and water-incident research in Canada. The Centre conducts research into fatal and non-fatal drowning, significant aquatic injury and rescue interventions. Ongoing research and analysis supports evidence-based water-rescue training and drowning prevention education.


The Drowning Prevention Research Centre Canada is the new name of the Water Incident Research Alliance (WIRA), which was established in March 1999 as an alliance of the following organizations: Canadian Coast Guard, Canadian Institute for Health Information, Canadian Red Cross Society, City of Toronto, Lifesaving Society Canada, Ontario Provincial Police, and Parks and Recreation Ontario.

WIRA was incorporated as a non-profit organization on June 6, 2001 and approved by the Canadian federal government as a registered charity in May 2007. In 2010, WIRA became the Drowning Prevention Research Centre Canada and operates today as an independent non-profit organization.

Role and Responsibilities

The role of the Drowning Prevention Research Centre Canada is to provide "the facts" - the who, what, where, when and why of water-related incidents and injuries. The Centre provides useful data to organizations involved in water safety, drowning prevention, and search and rescue.

The Drowning Prevention Research Centre Canada:

  • Undertakes primary research when needed and not available from a credible, reliable source.
  • Encourages and facilitates others to undertake research that will support drowning prevention strategies.
  • Collects and maintains a water-incident database related to fatal drowning, non-fatal drownings, significant injuries and responder interventions.
  • Disseminates research data in a timely manner to media and relevant stakeholders including government.
  • Encourages the delivery of drowning prevention programs and public education campaigns.

Current Projects

  • Collect and analyze drowning data from provincial coroners' offices annually (ongoing since 2001).
  • Collect and publish weekly data on Canadian fatal and non-fatal drownings and significant water-related injuries.
  • Publish the official annual provincial/territorial drowning reports.