LATEST: Salvage experts Svitzer continue their examination of the stricken Hoegh Osaka today (Monday) after the cargo vessel grounded on Brambles Bank on Saturday night, with indications that the operation could take a week or longer to complete.
The car carrier is now at a 52 degree list, but has been assessed as stable despite the rise and fall of the tide. The incident took place at around 21:30 on Saturday, as reported first by Island Echo.
In a press conference yesterday evening, it was confirmed that the ship was deliberately grounded to prevent it from capsizing in the deep channel. The ship is said to be 1/3 full of her possible load and is carrying around 80 JCBs, cranes and other heavy machinery and around 1400 cars.
The salvage operation is likely to take several days – possibly a week – with more tugs to be brought to the scene on Wednesday amid fears of worsening weather.
Hugh Shaw, the Secretary Of State’s Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention, convened a meeting yesterday with the key stakeholders involved and has said:
“I am confident that the vessel owners are working professionally and promptly and have appointed salvors who arrived on scene early this morning and have already started work to assess options for salvage and the removal of the vessel. Further salvage personnel and salvage equipment is expected to arrive on scene tonight. Further assessments will be carried out over the next few days and these will assist the salvage team to formulate a suitable salvage plan”.
UPDATE 14:25 – It has been confirmed that over 1200 Land Rover and Jaguar cars are currently on board the Hoegh Osaka with a further 65 Minis and 80 JCB machines.
It is estimated the cars along are worth in the region of £20million.
UPDATE TUESDAY @ 16:40 – It has been confirmed that on one deck of the stricken car container, plant has moved and caused a slight crack in the hull of the Hoegh Osaka. There has been a small ingress of water below the water line but this was rapidly dealt with when discovered by the salvors and there is no evidence of pollution.
The salvors are continuing with their assessment and depending on the outcome of their findings today the salvors will either work to secure the ship in preparation for the expected bad weather or, if the opportunity arises, to refloat it.
In a press conference this afternoon is has been said that there are plans to pull the vessel off Brambles Bank at high tide tomorrow lunchtime.
The salvors calculations revealed that more water has entered the vessel than previously thought. The preparation for the refloat will therefore take longer than the weather window will allow tomorrow.
The alternative option of securing the Hoegh Osaka will be followed and preparations for the re-float will continue when the weather allows.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s Counter Pollution Team continue to monitor the situation but there is no sign of pollution from the vessel.
For safety reasons there is a 200 metre exclusion zone around the grounded vessel.
An investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) is ongoing.
Photograph: NPAS Bournemouth/Twitter