Shipping and offshore marine consultancy Waves Group and MFB solicitors, highlighted the importance of using data and digital technology in incident management during their London International Shipping Week workshop on Monday September 9th. The discussion focused on the present state and future potential of digital evidence and how digital data can be used to supplement and improve traditional methods used in marine incident investigations.
Delegates were taken on a journey through the current state of digital evidence, examining the use of systems such as ECDIS, AIS tracking and VDR – and how data taken from these sources can be used to produce valuable information within the early stages of an incident using their CASPAR system. The Waves Group CASaulty Preliminary Assessment Report – CASPAR, is a rapid response system which brings together multiple data sources most relevant to an incident such as AIS tracks, charts, weather and tide, vessel details and photos or videos of the incident into an easy to read format. Applications for this report includes P&I Club, Hull and Machinery or cargo insurer incident management and assessment, emergency response, search and rescue, loss mitigation, support for vessel owner’s and more.
A demonstration of the Company’s post incident investigation techniques was shown, using a VDR incident reconstruction and simulation of an incident. More conventional sources such as vessel logs, eyewitness accounts and VTS systems are also capable of being integrated into the analysis and the reconstruction. The ability to produce reconstructions in a three-dimensional format offers greater clarity on the incident and can help to create an accurate understanding of what transpired, increasing the certainty of a favourable outcome for the parties involved.
Looking to the future, the Company focused on the use of 3D point-cloud data, visualisation and augmented reality demonstrating how the use of various techniques such as aerial and underwater drones, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), underwater laser and multi-beam sonar and photogrammetry can be used to acquire data in challenging environments. Turning these datasets into high-resolution 3D visualisations of incidents. The overall emphasis was on increasing certainty on risk reduction and speeding up the decision-making process. Delegates were offered a walk around a shipwreck in life-size virtual reality to show them how easy it could be to assess damages and plan a recovery using high-resolution 3D surveys.
The use and importance of digital data was further reinforced by MFB in relation to its application as evidence in Admiralty court cases. According to MFB there has been an increase in the use of digital evidence over the years to help determine the outcome of collision cases. In most instances digital evidence is considered to be a positive factor for cost reduction in the resolution of disputes.