The investigation into the Costa Concordia disaster has found that the stricken ship’s Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) was out of service before the accident, according to the Italian Media.
Corriere della Sera reports that the cruise ships VDR had not been in working order for up to four days prior to the accident on January 13th, and that from 11:36pm that night no data was recorded at all.
As a result, investigators have only been able to access data from the ship’s computer to determine what happened. The VDR would have granted investigators full access to a whole range of information.
The company responsible for the VDR are said to have received e-mail notification from the Concordia technical department that they were to defer repairs to the system until the ship called the Port of Savona on January 14th. Email discussions also revealed that there had been problems with the VDR for some time.
In response to the claims Costa Crociere told Corriere della Sera that the “black box was giving an error code that absolutely does not imply that the Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) was not working.”
“This is proved by the fact that the contents of the black box comply perfectly with engineers’ expectations.”
“There is no international regulation or convention that decrees that a ship cannot sail in these conditions,” the statement concluded.
In May, the investigation into the cause of the Concordia disaster, which saw 32 passengers lose their lives, found that the ship had ran aground after its captain, Francesco Schettino, steered the vessel too close to the Italian island of Gigilo to ‘salute’ island residents.