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Digital data can enhance incident investigation and aid dispute resolution

Digital data can enhance incident investigation and aid dispute resolution
Digital data can be used to augment traditional methods of investigating incidents to enable faster responses with a clearer, more accurate understanding of what happened

Marine consultancy Waves Group and shipping law specialists MFB Solicitors presented how digital technologies are enabling faster, more cost-effective and understandable resolutions for incident investigations and Admiralty Court dispute settlements as part of London International Shipping Week today.

Waves Group consultant master mariner Giles Hunnisett said “Digital doesn’t replace any of the traditional [investigative] methodology – it enhances what we can already get.”

Waves has developed a system called Caspar, a casualty preliminary assessment report, which can be produced within hours and facilitate response planning. It brings together information such as vessel ownership details, AIS tracking, local weather and tidal conditions, along with information gathered online such as photos and videos shared on social media by bystanders. Applications for this report include P&I/Hull and machinery insurer incident management and assessment, incident background for legal reports, incident response such as search and rescue, damage limitation, pollution prevention, and more.

For post-incident investigation, Waves can generate in-depth reconstructions and simulations of incidents drawing on data from sources such as VDR, AIS, ECDIS, VTS and manual sources such as vessel logs and eyewitness accounts. By presenting such reconstructions in a 3D format, greater clarity can be gained on the incident and consensus can be built on developing an accurate picture of what actually happened.

MFB partner Helene Peters-Davies noted that Admiralty Court cases are seeing increased use of electronic tracking data from sources such as AIS, ECDIS and VDR to act as a positive supplement to collision statements.

Reports drawing on multiple data inputs, such as Waves Group’s Caspar, enable reconstruction of incidents and are increasingly becoming standard in collision cases, said Ms Peters-Davies.

Courts recognise that electronic tracking data can result in speedier, more cost-effective resolution of disputes and provider a greater, more accurate understanding of incidents, she added.


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