VDR - a crucial tool for accident investigators

The Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) is among the most important tools accident investigators have for determining what happened during an incident.

Back in October 2015, the US cargo vessel El Faro sank after sailing into a Category 3 hurricane, all 33 crew members lost their lives.

After immense efforts, the vessel’s VDR capsule (manufactured by Danelec Marine) was recovered 4.5 km beneath the ocean surface, the deepest a capsule was ever recovered. The NTSB with support from a Danelec technical team successfully retrieved the data and audio from the vessel’s VDR which proved to be critical for understanding the circumstances of an accident.

The conclusions from the investigation led to new important safety requirements and regulations to help prevent such disasters from ever happening again.

The Investigation of the Sinking of US Cargo Vessel El Faro

Conclusions and recommendations

Download the Marine Accident Report to learn more about what caused the accident and the safety issues that led to such tragic loss of lives. The report also provides some recommendations for improved safety onboard and to help prevent such accident from happening again.