OTTAWA: Under new federal regulations, certain large cargo and passenger vessels will be required to have voyage data recorders. Similar to an airplane’s black box, the equipment captures critical information to help investigations into accidents at sea.
“Should an accident occur, information from a vessel’s voyage data recorder can be used to help investigators learn more quickly and more thoroughly the cause and what can be done to help prevent a recurrence,” said Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
As of January 1, the voyage data recorder regulations will require new cargo vessels of 3,000 gross tonnage or more not engaged on an international voyage be fitted with voyage data recorders. The new safety measure addresses a transportation safety board recommendation highlighted in its Watchlist earlier this year.
The regulations also implement the voyage data recorder requirements under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974 for Canadian vessels engaged on international voyages. Transport Canada inspectors will monitor and enforce compliance with the regulations, including mandatory use, maintenance and testing of voyage data recorders, through regular inspections of Canadian vessels.