The Maritime and Coastguard Agency have said this afternoon (Thursday) that the Hoegh Osaka is currently stable at the anchorage with 3 tugs having kept it in place overnight despite some high winds in the early hours.
Up to 3000 tons of water is estimated to be on the vessel, with work starting today, when the weather improves, to pump this water off. It has been confirmed that an oily film has formed on top of this water from the hydraulics of the vehicles on board. According to the MCA, the salvors will use a technique that draws the water from the bottom of the vessel to avoid this oily film. The removal of this water should reduce the vessel’s list.
Before the vessel can be moved back to the Port of Southampton salvage work needs to be completed which will take between five and seven days. This work includes a hull inspection by divers, the removal of the water that entered the ship through the now-repaired crack, and ballasting operations to reduce the list.
Salvage teams are on board the vessel today and The Queen’s Harbour Master has now introduced an exclusion zone of 300m to remove the risk to leisure users of the Solent. Forecasts predict worsening weather at 03:00 on Friday, which abates during the morning before picking up again at 15:00 and reaching very high winds Saturday morning.
Editor Footnote: We have downgraded their story from ‘Breaking News’ to ‘Latest News’. All further updates will appear in our ‘Latest News’ category.