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The year 2002 marks the birth of Voyage Data Recorder as mandatory imposed by the International Maritime Organization. Since then, VDRs have now become an established tool of a bridge equipment in vessels.

To distinctly define VDR, It is a recording machine engineered by professionals to compile facts during the ship’s expedition. Or generally termed as Voyage Data Recorder, its realization has been actualized for many important uses but most prominently for accident investigations. The undetermined cases of marine casualties or mishaps have led VDRs to be an in-demand watercraft equipment. Presumably, it is responsible for providing a wealth of information concerning the ship’s regular performance.

To define more, VDR is undeniably imperative for the origin or root elements of marine incidents. Definitely, in order to show specific technical data in the aftermath. Providentially, Voyage Data Recorders are tools akin to an aircraft’s black box, In which, these marine instruments have been used for investigating disasters. Essentially, it can administer the ship owners, inspectors and other third parties with audio videos, and engine statistics. Thereby, this permits to understand and evaluate onboard crew instructions and procedures for a certain pre-incident period of time.



A VDR is secured in a protective capsule. Wherein the recording of data covers the last twelve hours, being constantly overwritten with the latest statistics. To add, the equipment must be capable of resisting incidents as collision, fire, and sinking in several thousand meters of water. In this case, the VDR information can firmly be recovered for a number of uses and purposes besides investigative scope.

  • Tracking performance efficiency
  • Heavy weather damage analysis
  • Preventive maintenance and procedures
  • Strategies for obviating deep-sea disasters
  • VDR data can be taken advantaged for training objectives
  • Approaches to improving safety or security
  • Ways to reducing running costs


VDR basically records the happening of events, episodes, and facts aboard ship and keeps the most recent 12-hours data. Essentially, a VDR gathers the vessel’s date and time, position, speed, bridge and communication audio, heading, and radar data.

VDRs indeed have played a remarkable role in almost all vessels worldwide since the past years. Whether it’s a tanker, passenger ship, cargo vessel, ocean liner, or the other watercraft, a VDR must be safely installed. Other than being highly prescribed by the IMO Maritime Safety Committee, VDR is truly a far-reaching ship recording system.

Substantially, VDR is defined as a great influence in every fleet. Since its existence, measures of eluding accidents can easily be planned by the operators of ships or vessels. And even as well, taking remedial actions in other circumstances have become more feasible. All these being materialized because of the array of information contributed by such innovative technology – the VDR.