Marine Expert Recommends Black Boxes
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Marine Expert Recommends Black Boxes


Black box recorders should be fitted on ships to give vital clues about mystery disasters at sea, according to the UK's senior marine accident investigator. John Lang says the boxes could give investigators vital information to prevent further accidents. He says that until voyage data recorders, the official name for the black box, are installed in all ships, the reasons why some maritime disasters happen would never be discovered.

"I am in no doubt that, until they are fitted to all commercial vessels and, arguably, to fishing vessels as well, we will never identify many of the reasons why accidents happen at sea," he said. "I have argued repeatedly for VDRs to be a standard fit on all new vessels," he said.

Mr. Lang was speaking at the publication of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch's annual report.He also criticised "foreign flag" states that continually refused to install VDRs on ships and said their "implacable refusal" hampered investigations. The UK Government has pledged to look into the feasibility of fitting VDRs to all newly built fishing vessels more than 24 metres long. They will be mandatory on passenger and roll-on, roll-off ferries built after 1 July 2002.

Aanova, 4 July 2000  

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