Marine Safety Investigations
Services : DATA Analytics

marine casualties and incidents

"DATA Analytics .:. Services & Solutions"


The ability to replay the data quickly and accurately is frequently critical in determining the underlying cause of the incident or accident.

Do you have some VDR data you need to replay, or analyse, right now?

You may have received some VDR or other digital marine data following an incident or accident and not have any idea how to replay or analyse it. The ability to replay the data quickly and accurately, or analyse it in a non-standard way, is frequently critical in determining the underlying cause of the incident or accident.

How can "REMOTE DATALINK" help?

REMOTE DATALINK provide a wide range of rapid response, very cost effective, data recovery and analysis services which have been specifically designed and tailored to help you get the most from your marine digital data. We have extensive experience of performing these services for shipping companies, law firms, P&I Clubs and insurers, Flag State accident investigation and enforcement authorities, and marine consultancies. To provide an idea of how we can help you, we’ve summarised some of our more standard services below:

  • Analysis and Playback Facilities

  • Incident Replay and Analysis

    • Data Recovery

    • Audio Extraction and Enhancement

    • Animated Reconstructions

    • More advanced analysis

  • Routine/long term analysis and monitoring

  • Remote Navigation Audits

Analysis and Playback Facilities

Smaller agencies and shipping companies can now afford to have the capability to work with, and understand, VDR data

Do you need to be able to analyse VDR data?

More and more accident and investigation agencies and shipping companies have realised the importance of having the ability to replay and analyse Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) and other digital marine data. With today’s technology, even smaller agencies and shipping companies can now afford to have the capability to work with, and understand, VDR data. This is nowadays normally the critical component of any accident or incident investigation. Consequently it is vital that all relevant agencies develop their capabilities in this area to improve maritime safety worldwide.

What sort of system do you require?

Our System can supply VDR replay and analysis facilities in a range of different formats to suit different user requirements, including:

  • Laptop-based systems (which can be taken on board ship to assist with the interview process)

  • Transportable systems (which can be moved around or between offices as required)

  • Complete analysis laboratories which integrate data from a range of different sources where required (such as VDR, AIS, GPS, VTS, ECDIS etc.)

  • Multimedia facilities for use in training establishments.

How can "TECNO NAVAL" help?

We have provided VDR replay facilities/laboratories for national investigation authorities, and major shipping companies. This ensures they are ready to replay and analyse data as soon as possible following an incident or accident. It is often critical that data can be replayed and analysed quickly and accurately after an incident to ensure that the correct questions are asked of witnesses whilst the incident is still clear in their memory.

Our Systems sources and integrates all the necessary interface and processing hardware and software components to provide a turnkey system. We also provide training in the use of the system, and on-going support as required. This ensures that you can be confident of always being fully operational at the earliest opportunity using tried and tested solutions.

What next?

If you need to set up and operate a replay and analysis facility or laboratory for VDR or other digital marine data, then contact us now.

Incident Replay and Analysis

Animated reconstruction of an incident using the recorded data can be a very effective way of showing the incident to others.

Data Recovery

The current VDR/S-VDR specification only requires that data is stored for a minimum of 12 hours before it is overwritten. As a result, unless some action has been taken to save or download the data within 12 hours of an incident, the data will often have been deleted/overwritten before it can be downloaded.

However, if you’ve got the original digital storage media from a casualty, such as the Hard Disk or Compact Flash Memory from a Voyage Data Recorder, but critical data has been overwritten/deleted, our experts can inspect and image the storage medium and then recover as much data as is possible. Because we specialise in Marine/VDR data analysis, we have considerable experience of the data content and formats used across the wide range of different VDR systems. This makes our data recovery process most efficient.

Audio Extraction and Enhancement

The replay and analysis of audio from VDR recordings can be critical in understanding a bridge team’s communications preceding and during an incident. Unfortunately, all too often the audio quality is very poor, with either unwanted electrical or ambient noise.

If the VDR audio is very noisy, we can use advanced Digital Signal Processing techniques to remove unwanted noise from the recordings, enhancing the quality of the audio in order to make the speech content easier to understand.

Also if you need the bridge audio or VHF radio communications translated or transcribed, we can extract the audio from the VDR data, and supply it in a standard file format that can then be easily used on any PC.

Animated Reconstructions

An animated reconstruction of an incident using the recorded data can be a very effective way of showing the incident to others. The reconstruction can for example be used for investigation, litigation, or training purposes.

Our Solution will typically use our Marine Accident Data Analysis Software (MAC-DAS) to replay/animate your incident data.

Animations normally primarily use VDR data to show scaled icons of the ship(s) involved on Nautical charts, synchronised with selected bridge audio/radio channels (with subtitles if required), and/or radar/AIS and NMEA data(as available). Data from different sources such as AIS, VTS or CCTV can also be included. Additional annotation can also be superimposed on the chart (so for example include an indication of features which were not present when the chart was surveyed).

Once you’re happy with the animated reconstruction, we’ll supply a video that you can then replay on any PC, when and wherever required.

More Advanced Analysis

In some cases in order to establish what actually happened in an incident, it may be necessary to do some additional or more advanced analysis. For example, there is a wide range of other data available in VDR data files, such as door and alarm information, which it may be difficult to access using the manufacturer’s replay software. We can extract the data and analyse it for you. To provide you, for example, with information on when specific doors were open, or when alarms sounded and were acknowledged.

Routine/Long Term Monitoring

Enabling a proactive approach to operational risk management

Do you want to gain benefit from your VDR every day?

If you’re a shipowner or operator with a fleet of ships equipped with VDRs, by now you’re probably familiar with using your VDR data following an accident or incident. Hopefully such events are rare, but as a result you’re not getting any real benefit from your VDR on a daily basis.

How can "REMOTE DATA LINK" help?

REMOTE DATA LINK can use our V-OQA software to analyse your VDR data to highlight deviations from your standard operating procedures (“events”), or trends which can result in reduced safety or increased operating costs, and alert you if there’s anything which requires your action, enabling a proactive approach to operational risk management.

Where required, the subset of the VDR data required to perform this monitoring is small enough to be efficiently transmitted over the internet, opening the potential for 24/7 monitoring, and providing you with remote access to your results from anywhere in the world.

The benefits?

Our analysis service is like having a continuous 24/7 audit of bridge operations, delivering enhanced safety combined with reduced operating costs, whilst also providing increased confidence that your VDR is working correctly at all times.

What next?

If you want to know more about how we can help by providing routine analysis of your VDR data, then contact us now.

Remote Navigation Audits

Enabling a proactive approach to operational risk management

Why are Navigation Audits Required?

One of the biggest risks facing the owner or operator of a ship is having a major navigational incident.

Insurance company statistics indicate that collisions and groundings account for more than 50% of incidents, and these normally come with high costs. Analysis of such incidents reveals they are normally attributable to the human element, and rarely due to mechanical failures.

When appropriate practices are correctly and professionally implemented, the navigational risks are significantly reduced. As a result Navigation Audits are encreasingly being used to verify and enhance bridge team performance, and are a requirement under the OCIMF TMSA (Tanker Management Self Assessment) scheme.

What are the limitations of current Navigation Auditing practices?

Traditionally Navigation Audits have required an auditor to sail with the vessel to monitor the bridge team performance.

This approach suffers from the fundamental and significant drawback that the presence of the auditor on the bridge inevitably affects the behaviour of the bridge team, and there is no guarantee that the practices observed during the audit are maintained when the auditor is not present.

Also the costs of having a suitably skilled auditor to attend the ship (which could be anywhere in the world) for a sufficient period of time to monitor an adequately wide range of navigation activities can be significant. These costs can increase in an unpredictable manner by changes in the ship’s schedule, and the requirement to pay for the auditor’s time and subsistence costs whilst awaiting delayed arrival or departure.

As an alternative to on-board auditing, there has been a tendency to perform audits whilst the ship is alongside in port. But such audits may be reduced to a basic check of relevant bridge paperwork only which may not even be performed by experienced master mariners, and do not provide any meaningful analysis or review of the actual operation of navigational practices on board. As a result they will have little or no impact on the reduction of navigational risks.

A new approach –the Remote Navigation Audit

REMOTE DATA LINK has developed a Remote Navigation Audit (RNA) service in collaboration with leading independent ship inspection consultants. This service is now being used by a growing number of leading shipping companies to provide increased assurance of their navigation practices.

The RNA is based around the analysis of your ships’ Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) data. A trained auditor (and qualified Master Mariner) uses their experience and knowledge to comprehensively review the data against regulations, best practice and company procedures using our sophisticated analysis software. The use of our software ensures that we can provide the same consistently high level of analysis independent of the Make and Model of VDR, in a way that’s just not possible using the VDR manufacturer’s replay software.

The output from the RNA is a report which contains observations and recommendations that will enable you to take action to enhance navigational practices. These are backed up by screenshots and video clips, which can be used to debrief the bridge team, and/or communicate the lessons which can be learnt across the fleet.

An example of a screenshot from a Remote Navigation Audit is shown below, which clearly shows the lack of correlation between the manual position fixes marked in pencil on the chart compared with the course recorded by the VDR (solid red line). This would never have been picked up from a paper-based audit in port.

The benefits of "REMOTE DATA LINK" - Remote Nav Audit approach

  • You get to choose the time period and location for the audit (i.e. you can choose the approach to a particular port, or transit through a TSS etc. to target known or suspected problem areas/ships for the audit)

  • Fixed remote nav audit costs known in advance (i.e. saves on the variable travel & waiting times/costs of conventional audits)

  • No impact on Bridge Team by presence of the auditor, enables actual routine practices & procedures to be reviewed

  • Depth of review – e.g. the data can be paused/replayed by the auditor more than once to check exactly what’s happened, in a way that’s not possible with a conventional audit.

  • A video of the replay can be used to debrief the bridge team, and/or communicate the findings (good and bad) more widely across the fleet (desensitised if required).

  • The routine use of your VDR data ensures that the VDR is functioning correctly, and the crew know how to save and download data, so that VDR data should always be available in the event of an incident.

All of which mean that an RNA is a highly cost effective way to identify navigation practices where improvements can be made, so enhancing safety and reducing the risk of navigational accidents.

  • Services

    • Analysis and Playback Facilities

    • Incident Replay and Analysis

    • Routine/Long Term Monitoring

    • Remote Navigation Audits

  • Software Applications & Systems

    • MAR-DAS: (Marine Accident - Remote Data ANALYSIS System)

    • MAR-DCS: (Marine Accident - Remote Data CAPTURE System)

    • VR-OQA: (Voyage - Remote Operations QUALITY Assurance)

    • VR-DCS: (Voyage - Remote Data CAPTURE System)