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London P&I calls for improved VDR testing and training

London P&I calls for improved VDR testing and training
After two recent claims investigations found Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) malfunctions, London P&I Club has called for training on VDR-related issues.

Current SOLAS requirements already dictate that VDR systems and their sensors should have an annual performance check, conducted by an approved facility, and a compliance certificate retained on board.

In the case of the two recent claims, sensors were not sending proper data to the VDR which led to delays in both analysing the incidents and handling the claim.

Ian Barr, claims director with the club’s management team, commented: “Analysis of a small selection of VDR operators’ manuals by the club has shown that, in general, VDR units have a means of ascertaining that they are receiving data from the required sensors. It seems that the provision of LED lights in combination is a popular method of communicating such information to the operator, along with the provision of individual error codes.

“Ships’ officers who are responsible for such equipment should ensure that they are fully conversant with the error codes / indications in the appropriate VDR operating manual. Consideration should also be given to the routine assessment of such indicators and / or test sequences as deemed appropriate.”

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