MarineLog passed along a recommendation that a good camera be regarded as essential bridge equipment.
…as a minimum:
- a digital compact camera with at least 8X optical zoom, built-in flash and video function; camera image quality of at least 10 megapixels;
- two 8GB or larger blank SD cards (preformatted) and checked for operation;
- spare battery pack;
- mains charger with ship-compatible plug
“The camera should be kept on the bridge, fully charged with an empty storage card. Most cameras have an internal clock which should be checked and set to UTC. This time-stamp is used when the image file is stored, essential when the chronology of events could be questioned,” says Mr. Harrison. (Mike Harrison of marine consultancy Solis Marine Consultants, Ltd.–Chuck)
Their focus is on insurance claims, and while that certainly applies to the Coast Guard, we have other reasons to want video documentation. Good video is useful for public information and for training. It can help with evaluating and passing along lessons learned. It can also become valuable evidence in criminal cases.