Vessels built after July 2002 are fitted with a VDR and existing vessels built prior thereto shall be fitted with a VDR (which may be an SVDR) by their next dry-docking after July 2006. Further, as per DGS requirement, VDR/SVDR shall have a float free capsule for easy recovery after an incident/accident. As the existing VDRs cannot be interfaced with a float free capsule, some vessels are fitted with a VDR as well as an SVDR with float free capsule to meet the requirements.
The purpose of a VDR is to maintain and store (in a secure and retrievable form) the information concerning the position, movement, physical status, command and control of a vessel over the period leading up to and following an incident, having an impact thereon. Information contained in a VDR/SVDR shall be made available to both the Administration and the Company. This information is for use during any subsequent investigation to identify the cause(s) of the incident. Since the equipment has facility to preserve a back up for 12 hours only, Master shall ensure that recorded data is stored safely and is available for analysis/reconstructing the scenario of sequences during the subsequent investigation, if any. The VDR/SVDR has to undergo an annual performance verification test (APT) by an authorised service engineer during the annual safety equipment survey and the certificate needs to be preserved for one year.
You may also know about Back up Procedure –
All radio officers/navigating officers, including the Master, shall familiarise themselves with the operation of VDR/SVDR, particularly how to take back up and retrieve the carry away memory module in case of an incident/accident.
The information regarding procedure for back up and retrieval is provided in the instruction manual of the VDR/SVDR installed on board.
The back up shall be taken and preserved (by transferring the data another computer memory) within 12 hours of the incident/accident.
The back up is required by investigating authorities and/or P&I Clubs. Failure to provide this may go against the vessel even when not at fault.
The back up information is recorded in a USB Memory Stick, special DVD ROM, PCIMA card or hard disk, depending on the type of VDR/SVDR. The latest VDR/SVDR is supplied with a password protected play back software CD. The CD with the password shall remain in custody of the Master’s and shall be included in his Handing/Taking Over Report.