Marine 028/10

Status: Closed
Recommendation Date: 
25 July 2010
Recipient Name: 
Date Closed: 
2 November 2016
The Monte Stello was fitted with a voyage data recorder (VDR), but it had not been maintained in working order because New Zealand Maritime Rules do not require one to be fitted. Even New Zealand-registered ships to which SOLAS has been applied are currently not required to be fitted with a VDR because New Zealand Maritime Rules have not been updated to incorporate changes made to SOLAS that came into effect in July 2002. Even if SOLAS requirements for VDRs had been incorporated into New Zealand Maritime Rules, the Monte Stello would not have been required to have one fitted because it was not trading internationally. The Wellington/Picton Cook Strait ferry operation combines roll-on-roll-off ships operating in challenging enclosed water pilotage and a stretch of open water renowned for challenging sea conditions.
The contribution to improving maritime safety world-wide by requiring certain classes of ships to be fitted with VDRs has been recognized by the IMO for many years, particularly for roll-on-roll-off ships such as the Monte Stello and the other current Cook Strait ferries. Until New Zealand-registered ships of the type trading across Cook Strait are fitted with VDRs or equivalent means of recording data, New Zealand and the greater maritime community are losing the potential safety benefits these devices provide.
Changes should be made to relevant New Zealand legislation that will result in all Cook Strait roll-on/roll-off ferries being required to have a fully SOLAS compliant VDR, or where not practicable to fit such equipment, other means to record as many operating parameters as practicable. (028/10)
Reply Text:
The Ministry of Transport will include consideration of the recommendation as part of the implementation of SOLAS requirements when advancing the Maritime Rules Development Programme. The Maritime Rules Development Programme for the 2011/2012 financial year is expected to be finalised in June 2011.
Related Investigation(s):