2 Recovery of the VDR is conditional on the accessibility of the VDR or the information contained therein.
.1 Recovery of the VDR information should be undertaken as soon as possible after an accident to best preserve the relevant evidence for use by both the investigator1 and the ship owner. As the investigator is very unlikely to be in a position to instigate this action soon enough after the accident, the owner must be responsible, through its on-board standing orders, for ensuring the timely preservation of this evidence.
.2 In the case of abandonment of a vessel during an emergency, masters should, where time and other responsibilities permit, take the necessary steps to preserve the VDR information until it can be passed to the investigator.
.3 Where the VDR is inaccessible and the information has not been retrieved prior to abandonment, a decision will need to be taken by the flag State in co-operation with any other substantially interested States2 on the viability and cost of recovering the VDR balanced against the potential use of the information. If it is decided to recover the VDR the investigator should be responsible for co-ordinating its recovery. The possibility of the capsule having sustained damage must be considered and specialist expertise will be required to ensure the best chance of recovering and preserving the evidence. In addition, the assistance and co-operation of the owners, insurers and the manufacturers of the VDR and those of the protective capsule may be required.
1 Theterminvestigator referstotheMarineCasualtyInvestigatorasperthetermsoftheCodeforInvestigationof
2 Refertoparagraph4.11oftheCodefortheInvestigationofMarineCasualtiesandIncidents,asadoptedby resolutionA.849(20).