This paper concerns the description of the formation of a very large, quality-controlled dataset of raw wave measurements. As part of the CresT (Cooperative Research on Extreme Seas and their impacT) Joint Industry Project (JIP), the participants provided raw field measurements of water surface elevation from various installations across the globe. This paper will describe the data collection from the different installations, the strict quality control procedure employed to ensure a reliable dataset, and an overview of the occurrences of records containing freak wave events. Part 2 of this paper will then go on to describe the analysis performed on this dataset as well as the findings from the study.

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