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Ship-borne Voyage Data Recorders are basically one of the most interesting evidence of the constantly upgrading technology.


In the maritime industry, the role of VDRs have always been undeniably impressive and remarkably useful for a number of purposes. For a lot of times, voyage data recorders have proven its substantial contribution especially in the area of investigating incidents after their occurrence.



  • Voyage Data Recorders are mostly known and called by many as VDR(s).
  • A VDR is an innovative system professionally designed for all vessels that are required to adhere to the IMO standard.
  • The IMO stands for International Maritime Organization and it’s responsible to require ships in installing a voyage data recorder.
  • A voyage data recording device simply collects and stores data or information regarding the ship’s general activities or operations.
  • Essentially, the main scope of VDRs is assisting investigators and ship owners by delivering relevant data during an accident investigation.

Normally, a complete VDR system is composing with the following devices:

  • Data Acquisition Unit
  • Protected Data Capsule
  • Power Supply Unit
  • Bridge Alarm Unit
  • Interface Box

A voyage data recorder with its competence for enhancing both safety and productivity of marine transportation is indeed extensive.


A VDR is capable of a wide-ranging recording of the vessel’s bridge command, navigation equipment, propulsion system and the alarm status. Definitely, this administers a comprehensive database for analysis.

The statistics and data retrieved from the VDR could be employed to rescue the needs of investigators for a successful casualty investigation. Basically, the data can be the major tool for diagnosing the factors that trigger the marine catastrophe.

More importantly, the data can as well be administered for learning trends. And, analyzing precursor events that may lead to an accident. Therefore, this can help in planning proper measures to hamper the possibilities of unfavorable scenarios.

Inherently, the saved data and information restored from the voyage data recorder have been observed to be very useful too, for the following areas:


  • Can be utilized as a training tool or guide to help operators be aware of the potential danger. This can help in the prevention of deep-sea incidents.
  • Can also be used for evaluation of certain engine, machine or equipment under critical condition. This can assist in ensuring appropriate maintenance or to identify if there is a need for a replacement. This can help improve the safety of operation of the equipment.
  • The data can be employed to promote ideal practice and casualty prevention
  • Moreover, can be taken advantage for assessing feedback to safety and emergencies in the oceanic environment.

Significantly, the VDR data can also be proven invaluable for further learning and training of mariners. The information of unfolding events could be employed to mimic real problematic settings. In this case, the decision made by the assigned crews can be reviewed, evaluated, and they’ll be provided with guidance and strategies.

It cannot be denied, voyage data recorders have always been one of the most excellent proofs of technological advancements, specifically in the maritime field. In fact, the heavy loss of life and the serious marine environmental damage have minimized since the time ships are required to secure and install a VDR system.