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Today, almost any vessel has a Voyage Data Recorder. These VDR Players are thought-about as the best documentation in any marine accident or disaster.  

What makes VDR a very beneficial ship device is that this player provides a thorough understanding of events leading to accidents. Voyage Data Recorders are instruments and can keep digital facts. Consequently, requiring a digital forensic process. Every VDR player tool is expertly crafted to do the following functions:

  • Collecting data
  • Preserving data
  • Surveying
  • Examining
  • Analysing
  • And, reconstructing information

The certainty of deep-sea mishaps and the uncertainty of their occurrence basically has led to the birth of voyage data recording systems. During the old times, many ship casualties have been left undetermined due to the inadequacy of facts or evidence. But now, investigating marine incidents after the fact has become a lot accessible and uncomplicated. And that is because of the presence of VDR players.

The use of Voyage Data Recorders on watercraft is governed by the rules integrated into Chapter V on “Safety of Navigation.” More specifically, of the “International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea” or SOLAS under the International Maritime Organization.

The IMO or International Maritime Organization Resolution sets requirements concerning the operation of a Voyage Data Recording unit. Initially, a VDR should be completely automatic in common operation. It must consistently store sequential reports of significant information about the vessel’s overall affairs. Particularly, a ship’s command, control, and status.

Based on further regulations, a standard VDR device is highly recommended to maintain at least of the following relevant items:

Time and date of the ship referenced to UTC – Coordinated Universal Time. The ship’s position, respectively, coordinate reference, latitude, and longitude. Moreover, the vessel’s heading, bridge communication or audio, speed, very high frequency or VHF radio communications. As well, radar data. Depth under keel, rudder order and response, engine order and response. Main alarms, hull opening status, fire and watertight status, and where accessible, the hull stresses and accelerations.

Essentially, most analysis or investigations into ship catastrophes will have correlated data on voyage data recorder players. In which, it can be employed to reconstruct facts in great detail. It has never been a question how a VDR’s potential has always been pervasive. The data and statistics this equipment or player are capable of are not only valuable to aid inspectors. Particularly, in establishing the causes of marine accidents but it can be pragmatic as well for training and improving the ship’s conduct.

The information stored and presented by the VDR help ship operators and crew members to be aware of the probable hazards. Thus, it can help them create measures on how to prevent possible setbacks. The use of VDR data remarkably has been effective as well to the following purposes:

  • Evaluate certain critical machinery
  • Ensure proper maintenance and operation
  • Improve the safety of the ship
  • Bridge team training
  • Uphold best practice and accident avoidance
  • Reduce operational expenses

Better understanding or awareness in the knowledge of the factors or circumstance of maritime events will help the ship to prevent accidents from reoccurring.