This commentary was written as the voyage data recorder (VDR), popularly known as the black box, was being discussed by the IMO's Sub-committee on Safety of Navigation as to its potential benefits to safety. When this becomes the criterion, complex arguments can be made for and against the installation of black boxes. They are not an immediate safety aid in the sense that an emergency generator or automatic distress signal is, and result in no immediate improvement in security to vessel and crew. Because their long-range benefits to the safety of all are very real, and these are clarified, it is suggested that some joint funding scheme involving flag state, underwriter, classification society and shipowner be devised to help bear the cost of equipping vessels with VDRs.

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00657084
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Maritime Technical Information Facility
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 21 1994 12:00AM