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Unquestionably, the maritime industry has always been knowledgeable about the potentiality and strength of a VDR technology, especially during a deep-sea emergency.  

Voyage Data Recorders or ordinarily called by many as VDR, has always impressed the shipping industry. Basically, the VDR technology is designed with the ability to preserve ship data. The information accommodated by the VDR essentially serves as a very beneficial tool for many scopes.

During the entire ship navigation that actually covers any oceanic emergency, the role of a voyage data recording device is indeed far-reaching. After any deep-sea casualty or emergency, the series of events can be traced easily during an investigation. Substantially, VDR has a crucial function of recording, processing and storing data. After which, it renders the data to the ship owner, investigators, and authorities.



But despite the remarkable features of a VDR technology, due to some factors, the VDR data can be ineffectual.

There are some cases where ships were not effective in saving and recovering the vital VDR data. In other words, there’s a failure in the capacity to provide evidence to the vessel owner and investigator.

Eventually, the inability to produce the essential VDR data may result to counter party charges or claims. In which, might have been hampered or pressed on against in a lower costly manner had it not been for the inadequacy of evidence.

There are factors to consider that may lead to the incompetence of the VDR to deliver the very much in-demand data. In fact, not only for the purpose of examining any marine accident and emergencies. But, to many areas that may help build up more safety and productivity of a ship’s voyage.


Here are few possibilities of the failure of the VDR to contribute integral ship information:

  • There are an insufficient understanding and lack of in-depth knowledge of the functionality of a VDR technology system.
  • Inaccurate data retrieval and downloading even if the VDR information has been stored successfully.
  • The “save” button of the marine recorder (VDR) was not initiated according to the stated procedures or manual instructions.
  • The “built-in” alarm function of the VDR was unable to be activated in the event of the hardware malfunction.
  • The Master of the ship missed adjusting the VDR loop function. In which, to retain the information based on the implemented time frame.


The fact that a number of manufacturers thus leads to an array of a different model of voyage data recorders.

Basically, this means that there are diverse versions of VDR software making it quite crucial to view and recover the data. However, despite these probable limitations and negative feedback, few recommendations are suggested to ensure that the VDR can fully render its purpose.


  • Routine service by an authorized service company – performance tests should be done on a regular basis by a certified service supplier. In essence, to secure that the VDR working properly. And, to review the duration, accuracy, and recoverable function of the data recorded. Furthermore, the contact info of the manufacturer and technicians must be accessed easily. The VDR software should also be accessible at a pertinent location on-board or ashore.
  • Conduct on-board adaptation and drills – ¬†familiarization and drills should be set in motion regularly. Ideally, in sequence with the regular performance test of the VDR unit. The purpose for this is to verify that the bridge team is knowledgeable enough with the VDR methods and operation. Saving the VDR information must be included in the emergency response measures and drills.



The Netwave VDR series is known for their distinguished attributes in contrast with some of the introduced VDR systems. The Netwave voyage data recorders are recognized especially for their very practical and simple cabling requirements, leading to low cabling expenditures.

Moreover, the Netwave VDRs are noted worldwide for their ultra-compact built, cost-effective and ease-of-use features. The Netwave Systems BV offers a global network service accessible 24/7 in almost all major marine ports.