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During the course of any marine investigation, the flag state or official investigator should have custody of the VDR data.

VDRs are always been one of the leading instruments that can actuate causes of a ship accident after the fact. Essentially, a voyage data recorder is the one that’s distinctly potential to present information/statistics truly necessary for an incident probe. The masters, operators, and ship owners are always advised that in the event of a deep-sea disaster, the collection and analysis of the watercraft’s VDR data may cater evidence or facts to an accident inspection.

Hence, ship owners must ensure that proper steps are to be taken in order to safeguard and gather VDR data. Moreover, sufficient copies of the VDR data must be supplied to all investigating authorities. However, the ship owner as well may keep a copy for the use of its own study of the casualty. As a matter of fact, according to the guidelines on VDR ownership and recovery, in all circumstances and at all times, the vessel owner owns the VDR and its data.



The Recovery of the VDR and its attached data

The owner of the vessel must be able to maintain all the decoding guidance needed to retrieve the recorded information. The data recovery is conditional on the availability of the VDR or the info embodied therein. 


  • The restoration of VDR data should be initiated as soon as possible after an incident. This is in order to best retain the¬†significant evidence for the investigator and the owner. The owner should be responsible for its onboard standing orders to ensure the timely preservation of such evidence. Basically, because the investigator is very unlikely to instigate such action soon enough after the disaster.
  • In the event of the ship’s abandonment, the master should take necessary steps to secure the VDR data. . In the essence, where time and other responsibilities allow until this can be extended to the investigator.
  • A decision is taken by the flag state in cooperation with any other relevantly interested States. Basically, on the growth and cost of recovering the VDR balanced against the potential advantage of the information. This where the VDR happens to be not accessible and the info has not been restored prior to abandonment. Furthermore, the investigator must be on account for coordinating on the VDR data recovery. The probability of the capsule having constant damage must be contemplated. In this case, specialist expertise is necessary to secure the best chance of recouping and storing the evidence.
  • In addition to all those mentioned, the cooperation and assistance of the owners, manufacturers, and insurers of the VDR and protective capsule must be mandated.



The Read-Out of Voyage Data Recorder or VDR Information

In all cases, it is the investigator who is responsible for arranging the downloading and read-out of the statistics. Also, he should keep the owner to be completely informed. In other cases, the help of a specialist expertise may be necessary.

The Access to the VDR Data

In all circumstances, A copy of the VDR info must be furnished to the owner of the ship at an early stage. Further access to the data will be directed by the applicable domestic legislation of the flag state and other significantly interested states. All these rules must be appropriate and the instructions provided in the code for the investigation of Marine disasters and incidents.