VDR – a Key Tool for Investigation

Voyage Data Recorders are among the most important tools investigators have for determining what happened in an accident and to prevent it from happening again.

The investigation of the sinking of the US cargo vessel El Faro in 2015 is an example of the importance of data and audio from the vessel’s VDR (manufactured by Danelec Marine) to determine the circumstances of an accident. The search for the VDR required immense efforts until the unit was finally recovered at a depth of 15,000 feet beneath the ocean surface.

Watch the 15-minute video that summarizes the October 1, 2015, sinking of El Faro, the recovering of the Danelec Marine VDR, and the NTSB investigation.

Read the Marine Accident Report that contains a description of the accident and safety issues, and summarizes some of the safety recommendations intended to prevent such an accident from happening again.


Photos from the recovery of the vessel’s VDR

Find more photos from the recovery and investigation of the Danelec Marine VDR installed on the US Cargo vessel El Faro.